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Full text of "The independent"

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



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THE 




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International 
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By Kathryn Bowser 



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INDEPEtOENF 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 
VOLUME 16, NUMBER 1 



Publisher: 

Editor: 

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Editorial Assistant: 

Contributing Editors: 



Art Director: 
Advertising: 

National Distributor: 

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2 THE INDEPENDENT 



The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 
625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY 10012, (212) 
473-3400, a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational 
foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and film, 
and by the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the national trade association of 
independent producers and individuals involved in 
independent video and film. Subscription is included with 
membership in AIVF. Together FIVF and AIVF provide a 
broad range of educational and professional services for 
independents and the general public. Publication of The 
Independent is made possible in part with public funds 
from the New York State Council on the Arts and the 
National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement by The Indepen- 
dent does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are 
not responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

The Independent welcomes unsolicited manu- 
scripts. Manuscripts cannot be returned unless a 
stamped, self-addressed envelope is included. No 
responsibility is assumed for loss or damage. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require written 
permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. ISSN 
0731-5198. The Independent is indexed in the 
Alternative Press Index. 

O Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 1993 

AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Ruby Lerner, executive 
director; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
director; Stephanie Richardson, program/membership di- 
rector; Susan Kennedy, development director; Mei-Ling 
Poon, bookkeeper; Anissa Rose, administrative assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF LEGAL COUNSEL: Robert I Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF BOARDS OF DIRECTORS: Eugene Alein 
ikoff, * Joan Braderman, Charles Burnett, Christine Choy, 
Dee Davis, Loni Ding, Ruby Lerner (ex officio), Dai Sil Kim- 
Gibson, W. Wilder Knight II, Robert Richter, James 
Schamus, Norman Wang,* Barton Weiss, Debra Zimmer- 
man. 

* FIVF Board of Directors only 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 





COVER: The nerve center of the Clinton 
presidential campaign was the "war 
room," where Clinton's quick response 
team and top strategists operated, such 
as James Carville (sealed) and pollster 
Stan Greertberg. No press was allowed 
in the war room — except for 
documertrarians D.A. Pennebaker and 
Chris Hegedus. In this issue, they discuss 
their film-in-progress Wie War Room and 
the inner workings of the Clinton 
campaign. 

Also featured in this issue: Green- 
peace video coordinator Karen Hirsh 
offers a half-dozen case studies of 
environmental films and videos mat 
have made a tangible difference for the 
environment. 

Cover photo: © 1992 David Burnett, 
courtesy Contact Press Images 



FEATURES 

30 Inside the Clinton Campaign War Room with Chris Hegedus 
and D.A. Pennebaker 

by Patricia Thomson 

Independents Lose Out on Election Coverage 

by Michele Shapiro 

36 Do Environmental Films Help the Environment? Here Are 
Some That Have 

by Karen Hirsh 

5 LETTERS 

6 MEDIA CLIPS 

Radice's Last Stand: NEA Honcho Vetoes Three Grants to Gay/ 
Lesbian Fests 

by Catherine Saalfield 

ETC Extinguishes AIR 

by Wendy Greene 

Activists Lobby Over Cable Act's Enactment 

by Jeannine Aversa 

Video Archive Preserves Minnesota Memories 

by Julie Caniglia 

Big Mac Names Big Cheese 

by Ellen Levy 

Christian Blackwood: 1942-1992 

by Elizabeth Rich 

13 FIELD REPORTS 

Seeing Through AIDS: Media Activists Join Forces with NYC 
Department of Health 

by Anne Rubinstein 

Dreaming with Eyes Open: The First Nation's Dreamspeakers 

Festival 

by Sally Berger 

Giant to the North: Toronto International Film Festival of 
Festivals 

by Daryl Chin 

24 LEGAL BRIEFS 

A Taxing Experience: Two Taxes New York City Producers 
Should Know About 

by Susan Lee 

26 BOOKS IN BRIEF 

How Do I Look? Queer Film and Video 

reviewed by Pamela Sheperd 

Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film between Two Worlds 

reviewed by Karen Rosenberg 

Women in Film: An International Guide 

reviewed by Karen Rosenberg 

41 FESTIVALS 

by Kathryn Bowser 

46 CLASSIFIEDS 

50 NOTICES 

56 MEMORANDA 

AIVF/FrVF Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 3 



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LETTEI 


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WHO'S WINNING THE 
CULTURE WAR? 

To the editor: 

A friend just sent me your issue analyzing the attack on 
PBS ["Uncivil Wars: The Conservative Assault on 
Public Broadcasting," by Josh Daniel, August/Septem- 
ber 1992]. I say "analyzing" to be as fair as possible, 
although the tone is that of an expose — tearing the mask 
from the face of the enemy. What mask? What enemy? 

You labor to establish that the critics of PBS who 
assert that PBS programming is bent to the left are 
known conservatives and reveal that some, like David 
Horowitz, are ex-leftist radicals who either saw the light 
or sold out. What else is new? The entire issue breathes 
an attitude I find fascinating — that conservatives are not 
just wrong, but wicked; that political conservatism is, at 
bottom, a sort of criminal conspiracy — the world ac- 
cording to Oliver Stone. 

I find it fascinating because I am pretty old, old 
enough to have voted for Roosevelt, participated in 
Henry Wallace's campaign, and predicted (on a little 
FM station in Pennsylvania) that Truman would beat 
Dewey; so old that I can remember when Republicans 
were as angry, paranoid, and given to belief in mad 
conspiracies as your side seems now to be. 

Mass communication was then in its infancy, of 
course — so Republican versions of Olive Stone and Bill 
Moyers never had the opportunity to unhinge vast audi- 
ences, although, remembering Joe McCarthy, I think it 
was good they did not. 

But you have devoted many, many words to attack- 
ing people who decry the tax-supported bias of PBS and, 
along with PBS officials, insist there ain't no such bias. 

I suggest that the matter is not difficult to resolve if 
anyone really wants to resolve it. The last 10 years have 
given us a whole series of social and political issues over 
which the public has split. It should not be too difficult 
to list those issues and define the positions taken by the 
opponents in public debate. Then we could check what 
PBS has offered on these issues. How much time de- 
voted to each side? I can remember any number of 
sympathetic documentaries supporting various Marxist 
groups in Central and South America, but if there was 
roughly equivalent support for the contras, I missed it. I 
can recall many tender evocations of sympathy for the 
Palestinians, usually in documentaries that featured 
Israeli leftists or members of the Peace Now dovecote. 
But none supporting the "intransigent, hard-line" views 
of the other side. 

Am I forgetful? Is there someone as ubiquitous as 
Moyers flogging the slogans and accusations of the right 
as assiduously as he does those of the left? Forgive me, 
but I can't take seriously the view that William Buckley's 
once-a-week, lofty, remote excursions into religion, 
philosophy, and the Canadian Way are equivalent to 
Moyers' regular and repeated revelations of Republican 
treason. Please — a little proportion. 

What puzzles me most about the whole debate is why 
in the world you folks — having won the pop culture 
battle hands down, with a lock on the documentary 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



business, and all of Hollywood in your comer — why 
don't you just rejoice? When I was young, I used to think 
conservatives were the worst losers ever. What I can't 
understand is why your side, victorious so far in the 
culture war, is such a bad winner' 1 . 

Saul David 
Van Nuys, California 

Josh Daniel responds: 

It appears from Saul David's letter that he has not been 
watching much public television over the past 10 years. 
He comments that if PBS aired any shows favoring 
conservative causes, then he missed them. Well. Mr. 
David, yes, you did. Over the past 10 years PBS aired 
programs like Nicaragua Was Our Home (the pro- 
contra film produced by Rev. Sung Myung Moon's 
CAUSA) and Television's Vietnam: The Real Story, 
produced by Accuracy in Media. Mr. David also turns a 
blind eye to the weekly hours of conservative public 
affairs programming over the last decade, hosted by 
William Buckley, John McLaughlin, and Morton 
Kondracke. These shows generally supported the contras 
and U.S. policy in El Salvador. Mr. David asks "if 
there's someone as ubiquitous as Moyers flogging the 
slogans and accusations of the right as assiduously as he 
does those of the left?" If he would watch William 
Buckley's Firing Line, John McLaughlin's One on One 
and the McLaughlin Group, and Morton Kondracke's 
American Interests, the answer would be self evident. 
In addition, Mr. David discounts the impact of a host like 
Buckley, seen on national television week after week, 
whom many credit with launching the "conservative 
revolution" over the last 30 years. 

If right-wing critics object to what they deem to be a 
left-wing bias in documentaries, I have a proposition. 
Lobby for true diversity on the public airwaves. Let's 
have several weekly public affairs series offering a 
progressive agenda to counter the ongoing conservative 
monopoly. Let's have more documentaries that express 
all points of view. Let's have a PBS that truly challenges 
and informs. 



PBS' INORGANIC DIET 

To the editor: 

The interview with Jennifer Lawson ["PBS's Jennifer 
Lawson on Public TV's Programming Priorites and the 
Role of Independents," November 1992] was forthright 
and open, a welcome addition to the dialogue around 
public television. In the same spirit I would like to point 
out that there are many of us out here who do watch 
television and have worked for years (decades!) to 
expand the form and content of TV in the U.S. There are 
many independents who do not work solely with indi- 
vidual shows, who have been engaged for many years in 
series for public access and for exhibition at media 
centers. Many of us would like to see PBS use the 
experiences of these other venues to take more chances 
in pushing the boundaries of what television means. 



I do not know of anyone who advocates that PBS turn 
into public access with a big budget, as Lawson de- 
scribes. I do, however, think that the experiences and 
programmers at media centers and access channels can 
be useful laboratories for series concepts. Curators at 
media centers and other venues have evolved extremely 
imaginative and dynamic ways of pairing programs: 

• Numerous curators have pioneered women's pro- 
gramming. There's Chris Hill's Feeling the Faults se- 
ries for Hallwalls in Buffalo; Nancy Bless's The Inven- 
tion of Childhood for the Kohler Art Center: Mickey 
McGee's The Body Politic for Artists Space; Cara 
Mertes' series on women and housework, Dirt and 
Domesticity, for the Whitney Equitable Center, and 
Janet Sternburg's Learning Channel series Through Her 
Eyes. All are evidence of the depth and diversity of 
women's work. When was there any women's series on 
PBS? 

• Ada Griffin and Steve Gallagher put on a terrific 
series at The Kitchen in New York City called D' Ghetto 
Eyes, which looks at assimilation, alienation, and 
intracultural conflicts. 

• Craig Baldwin has a weekly series, The Other 
Cinema, at the media arts center Artists Television 
Access in San Francisco that combines tapes of perfor- 
mance art with archival films and documentaries in 
bizarre and fascinating combinations. 

• For years Asian CineVision in New York has 
programmed what is perhaps the country's most suc- 
cessful film festival showcasing a specific ethnic com- 
munity. Their annual children's series is second to none. 

There are hundreds of other examples. The expertise 
of these skilled programmers has been completely ne- 
glected by PBS, although many local stations have 
broadcast or cablecast their series. 

Why can't PBS work in collaboration with media 
centers, access, and independents? There have been 
projects at individual PBS stations over the years that 
have tried to expand traditional formats and organiza- 
tional models. I recall the Open Studio that Daniel Del 
Solar, Skip Blumberg, and Loni Ding (and many others) 
produced for KQED, for which public television, inde- 
pendents, and community members pooled resources to 
produce programming that was responsive to public 
needs and creative energies. I think that there are ways 
that the Independent Television Service could strengthen 
the independent media infrastructure in this country, 
and at the same time fund a variety of experimental 
programming combinations. 

It would seem cost effective and sensible to try some 
programming experimentation that grows organically 
out of those independents who have been hoeing the 
raster rows of TV already. Rather than the thousand 
flowers metaphors, how about an image of organic 
gardening? If public television is to thrive and maintain 
creative vigor, it must turn over the dead soil of the 
industrial TV wasteland and build a healthy earth that 
can sustain the alternative media community, which 
nurtures the seeds for visionary, multicultural, and eco- 
logical television in the twenty-first century. 

DeeDee Halleck 
Willow, New York 

THE INDEPENDENT 5 



RADICES LAST STAND 

NEA Honcho Vetoes Three Grants to Gay /Lesbian Fests 



Just after the Presidential election last November, 
Anne-Imelda Radice, acting chair of the National 
Endowment for the Arts (NEA), turned down 
grants recommended for funding from the Media 
Arts Fund (MAF), a regranting program funded 
by the NEA and administered by the National 
Alliance for Media Arts Centers (NAMAC). The 
three vetoed grants, totalling $ 1 7, 500, were all for 
gay and lesbian film festivals: the New Festival 
(New York), Gay and Lesbian Media Coalition 
(Los Angeles), and the Pittsburgh Lesbian and 
Gay International Film Festival. 




Of the 53 proposals recommended by 
NAMAC, the three queer film festivals were 
the only ones rejected by the NEA. 



Julian Low, director of NAMAC, says, "Ms. 
Radice's decision to withhold funds recommended 
by peer panels is an act of discrimination based on 
political concerns. She has been sitting on the 
decision since last spring and is only making it 
official now that the election is over." NAMAC 
has offered the festivals temporary loans that 
come from its general funds, which are composed 
of membership dues, to replace the vetoed grants. 

MAF, initiated in 1991, has a mandate to sup- 
port culturally diverse, small, and emerging orga- 
nizations and programs. Of 167 proposals in this 
round, the queer film festivals were among 53 
recommended for funding. They were the only 
ones rejected by the NEA. A fourth organization, 
Great Lakes Film and Video, which sponsors a 
series of festivals, including a gay and lesbian 
festival, was restricted to use the funds for only the 
Milwaukee Black Film Festival. According to 
Roberto Bedoya, president of the National Asso- 
ciation of Artists' Organizations, "Radice's last 
headline is so mean-spirited. Even though Clinton 
has been elected president, persecution isn't stop- 
ping. As gays and lesbians, we may be a little more 
visible, but we need to be just as vigilant in 
pursuing our civil rights as queer citizens." 

Jill Collins, the NEA's director of public af- 
fairs, responds that "Radice's actions were neither 
mean-spirited nor politically motivated. She sim- 
ply found the proposed sub-grants do not demon- 
strate artistic excellence and artistic merit worthy 
of support by this agency." 

At press time, the three festivals organizers 
planned to file a formal appeal with Radice through 



NAMAC as quickly as possible. The ACLU has 
also agreed to handle the case and will both file an 
injunction to encumber the funds in question so 
they are not lost in the next fiscal year and a class 
action suit against the NEA for discrimination. 
CATHERINE SAALFIELD 

Catherine Saalfield is a film- and videomaker, 
curator, and consultant. 



ETC EXTINGUISHES AIR 

The 22-year-old Artist in Residence program at 
the Experimental Television Center (ETC) in 
Owego, New York, ended in September 1992 
when grants from the National Endowment for the 
Arts and the Ohio and Pennsylvania state arts 
councils, totalling approximately $14,000 or 25 
percent of the program's budget, were not re- 
newed. 

Ralph Hocking, the program's founder and 
director, and Sherry Miller-Hocking, assistant 
director, will continue to run ETC's Electronic 
Grants program, which provides direct support to 
electronic media artists and organizations in New 
York State, and to keep the extensive video library 
open. 

The independent community was nonetheless 
saddened by the news that the Artist in Residence 
(AIR) program is now defunct. "This was a very 
unique project," says Debby Silverfine, director 
of the electronic media and film program at the 
New York State Council on the Arts, a major 
funder of the program. "There's nothing else 
that's completely set up as an artists' retreat for 
experimental production time." 

Residents at ETC lived and worked for three to 
five days without distractions in a spartan loft 
equipped with a cot, a hotplate, and a studio 
stocked with Am iga digital image processing com- 
puters. "I'd be making a video and look up and it 
would be midnight," says Joe D'Agostino, who 
has completed two residencies since 1983. Resi- 
dents at ETC in the last year alone have exhibited 
their works at the Museum of Modern Art and the 
Smithsonian in the U.S., and at similar outlets in 
Canada, France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. 

So why did a program artists and funders alike 
call "original" and "important" fail to impress 
peer panels? Donna Strong, grants office director 
for the Ohio State Arts Council, says she thought 
that ETC's equipment wasn't "cutting edge" 
enough and also that the program was "too closed," 
as the same group of artists returned to do residen- 



6 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 




AIR's "atmosphere of 
freedom" inspired 
Philadelphia video artists 
Connie Coleman and 
Alan Powell to 
experiment with their 
imagery in works like 
Radiation Therapy 
(1983), created through 
the program. 

Courtesy videomakers 



cies year after year. 

Sherry Miller-Hocking replies that "although a 
certain number of people wanted to return year 
after year because there aren't many facilities like 
this one, around half of the residents each year 
were new applicants." 

Caroline Savage, media arts program director 
for the Pennsylvania Arts Council, which does not 
traditionally fund programs outside the state, says 
the council reevaluated its funding of the program 
last year when a newly appointed directorclamped 
down on policies and, due to budget cuts, decided 
not to renew the grant. 

Above all, however, the Hockings' self-pro- 
fessed aversion to networking and public rela- 
tions efforts may have left them without the con- 
tacts necessary to bring in contributed income. 
"Ralph was always antagonistic towards fund- 
raising," says D'Agostino, and adds that he once 
suggested Hocking contact an equipment manu- 
facturer to donate computers in exchange for 
offering residencies to the company 's technicians. 
But Hocking "didn't want to schmooze corporate 
types," D'Agostino recalls. "He wouldn't com- 
promise what he was doing to fit the needs of the 
funders." Says Ralph Hocking, fundraising "takes 
an enormous amount of energy and commitment. 
I don't want to do fundraising. It's a pain." 

Hocking's idealism has always been the main 
driving force behind the center. He began ETC in 
1971 as a place where artists could explore the 
possibilities of new video technology free from 
the constraints of broadcasting conventions. The 
Hockings custom built ETC ' s studio, and resident 
artist Nam June Paik contributed some of his own 
equipment. 

Even as video technology became more acces- 
sible with the rise of the Amiga computer in recent 
years, the program's spirit of experimentation 
prospered. "People who work with hardware are 
often in a very standard frame of mind," says 
David Haas, coordinator of the Philadelphia Inde- 
pendent Film/Video Association, "but ETC ap- 
proached technology creatively." Philadelphia 
video artists Connie Coleman and Alan Powell 
built their own studio to resemble ETC's, but they 



still made the trip to upstate New York twice a 
year because of the "atmosphere of freedom" at 
the center. Coleman calls the AIR program an 
exercise in "total self-sufficiency" where she and 
her partner could "use video tools for creative 
purposes. It was real spiritual, never stylish, but it 
was a serious place you could go and think and 
work." 

WENDY GREENE 

Wendy Greene is a freelance writer living in 
Brooklyn, New York. 

ACTIVISTS LOBBY OVER 
CABLE ACT'S ENACTMENT 

Prompted by a new cable television law, six 
independent media advocates recently formed a 
group to ensure that independent and nonprofit 
producers and distributors, among others, have a 
voice in how the Federal Communications Com- 
mission (FCC) implements specific provisions of 
the act. 

The Nonprofit Telecommunications Project, 
spearheaded by telecommunications consultant 
John Schwartz, is an initiative housed within the 
Consumer Federation of America. The federation 
is one of the main forces behind the October 5 
enactment of the law dubbed the Cable Television 
Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 
1992, which regulates all aspects of the cable TV 
industry. 

The ad-hoc project's all-volunteer steering 
committee — Schwartz; DeeDee Halleck, an asso- 
ciate professor at the University of California, San 
Diego; Patricia Aufderheide, assistant professor, 
American University School of Communications; 
Lawrence Daressa, codirector of California News- 
reel; Jeffrey Chester, codirector of the Center for 
Media Education; and James Yee, executive di- 
rector of the National Asian American Telecom- 
munications Association — planned to hold its first 
formal meeting in December. 

"The public interest community — notably in- 
dependent producers and nonprofits — has sat on 
the sidelines watching the cockfight between the 



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cable and broadcast industries over control of the 
media pie. Now we are going to enter the arena 
and get a piece of pie for ourselves," says Chester. 

The project, formed in November, has dual 
goals: working with the FCC to make sure that 
nonprofits' interests are not left out of the FCC's 
deliberations regarding implementation of certain 
sections of the law and providing information to 
independent producers and nonprofit telecommu- 
nications groups about how they can take advan- 
tage of four provisions in the Cable Television 
Consumer Protection and Competition Act. 

The first provision involves programming on 
direct broadcast satellites. Under the new law, 
direct broadcast satellite operators are required to 
set aside four to seven percent of their channel 
capacity for "educational" programming. The 
project wants to lobby the FCC to make sure that 
access to the direct broadcast satellite channels for 
this purpose is affordable, that more — rather than 
fewer — channels are made available, and that 
foreign entities are not allowed to program the 
educational channels, Schwartz explains. 

The second provision focuses on leased ac- 
cess. The law directs the FCC to set the maximum 
price cable operators may charge for leased access 
channels. The Telecommunications Project wants 
the FCC to adopt a special rate for nonprofits and 
earmark a portion of these channels for nonprofit 
use. 

The third involves cable carriage of non- 
commercial stations. According to the law, a 
cable system with 36 or more channels is required 
to carry an unlimited number of public TV sta- 
tions. But the system does not have to carry the 
signals of more than three stations if their pro- 
gramming is substantially duplicative. The law 
was slated to go into effect December 4, but the 
FCC is in the process of coming up with related 
rules that may affect noncommercial carriage. 
How the term "duplicative" is defined will be 
determined by the FCC in April. Now a cable 
system can argue that the stations are duplicative 
and stations can argue just as easily that they are 
not. The definition set forth by the FCC will help 
remedy such controversies in the future. "Our 
interest is that there is no cap at three stations," 
Schwartz says. 

The final provision applies to unused public 
access channels. Cable operators may repossess 
unused public, educational, and governmental 
access channels in order to carry, among other 
things, public or low -power TV stations. Because 
these provisions took effect December 4, there is 
nothing for the project to do but make sure that 
entities operating or interested in operating so- 
called PEG channels know about the use-it-or- 
lose-it provision of the law. 

The steering committee is currently trying to 
raise $60,000 by targeting foundations to bankroll 
the project, Schwartz and Chester say. The funds 
will be earmarked for various outreach activities. 

"There's an opportunity for us to try to recoup 
losses that have occured over the years through 




Intermedia Arts' Video 
Archive Project will 
preserve documentaries, 
experimental videos, 
and music, dance, and 
poetry performances, 
such as this early tape of 
Minnesota poet-tumed- 
masculinist Robert Bly, A 
Man Writes to a Part of 
Himself, by Michael 
Hazard and Greg Pratt. 

Courtesy Intermedia Arts 



deregulation of the cable and broadcast indus- 
tries," says Halleck. 

JEANNINE AVERSA 

JeannineA versa is a senior editor at Multichannel 

News. 

VIDEO ARCHIVE PRESERVES 
MINNESOTA MEMORIES 

In September, Intermedia Arts of Minneapolis 
began work on its Video Archive Project, a cura- 
torial undertaking that will both commemorate 
the organization's 20th anniversary in 1993 and 
preserve its past. "Intermedia Arts does not see 
itself as a museum, retaining, cataloging, and 
making available art work from the past," says 
Tom Borrup, the organization's executive direc- 
tor. "However, in its role of supporting new work, 
it is imperative that this work be documented and/ 
or passed to another institution for preservation." 
To carry out the mission, Intermedia Arts, a 
multidisciplinary center that fosters the develop- 
ment of independent video producers through 
education, services, and public screenings, cre- 
ated a partnership with the Minnesota Historical 
Society and KTCA-TV, a local public television 
station. After more than 2,500 tapes of various 
formats are documented, the society will house 
300 to 400 restored tapes at its brand-new History 
Center in St. Paul (some will remain in a library at 
Intermedia Arts), and KTCA-TV is planning a 
two-and-a-half hour retrospective on the collec- 
tion. 

Emily Goldberg, the program's producer, de- 
scribes the retrospective, slated to air in late au- 
tumn 1993, as "a showcase that will give a sense 
of the range of work that was done at Intermedia 
Arts over the past 20 years, and also show how 
there was really no other place like it." In addition 
to video works, the program will include inter- 
views with independent producers who have used 
Intermedia Arts facilities. 

Sally Mendzela, a Minnesota-based media pro- 
ducer, says the fact that Intermedia Arts is creat- 



ing this archive with the Historical Society "really 
gives a wonderful boost to the psyche and the 
morale of independent producers. People are say- 
ing 'Yes, this is an independent work and we're 
going to archive it and preserve it.' It is great to 
have your work validated like that. It's also going 
to be an excellent data bank of images and infor- 
mation," she continued. "And a way to document 
the history of video and filmmakers themselves." 

The project received a $25,000 grant from the 
Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts in New 
York, which is "enough to get a handle on the 
collection — describe the objects and get them on 
a database," says Bonnie Wilson, curator of the 
Audio Visual Collections at the Historical Soci- 
ety. However, when that phase of the project ends 
in April, 1993, more funds will be needed to 
transfer several hundred 1/2" reel-to-reel tapes to 
a more stable format and to create viewing copies 
of the master tapes. 

Although Wilson anticipates that researchers 
will make most use of the video collection, she 
stresses that it will be open to everyone: high 
school students, PhD candidates, and those who 
are just plain curious. The criteria for the collec- 
tion consists of judging whether a tape contains 
information about Minnesota events, places, or 
people. "We're keeping the collection very paro- 
chial," says Video Archive Project assistant Re- 
becca B achman, who evaluates whether or not the 
tapes are worth saving. 

Much of the collection consists of documenta- 
ries on issues relevant to Minnesota, as well as 
experimental videos and music, dance, and poetry 
performances. Finds include a 1974 concert tape 
of Bonnie Raitt at the New Riverside Cafe, a small 
local restaurant, the trial of American Indian 
Movement activist Leonard Peltier, and early 
works by Minnesotan Mark Frost, who went on to 
produce Hill Street Blues and Twin Peaks, 
Bachman says. 

"There is a significant body of information 
here that really can't be lost," says Wilson. "And 
if we don't save it, who will? It's our role to 
preserve all aspects of Minnesota history, and so 



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10 THE INDEPENDENT 



far, independent media is one aspect that has been 
so little preserved." Margaret Byrne, director of 
the L.A. -based National Moving Image Database, 
agrees: "To partner a highly respected organiza- 
tion like the Minnesota Historical Society and a 
visionary one like the Andy Warhol Foundation 
may finally put these very important and histori- 
cally neglected materials — like Intermedia Arts' 
collection — back on the national agenda." 

Artists and independent producers with ideas, 
information, or work they would like considered 
for the archives are encouraged to contact 
Intermedia Arts at (612) 627-4444. 

JULIE CANIGLIA 

Julie Caniglia writes for City Pages, a Minneapolis 
alternative weekly. 

BIG MAC NAMES BIG 
CHEESE 

Almost two years after the death of its media 
champion William T. Kirby, the John D. and 
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named 
its first media program officer. Patricia Boero, a 
documentarian, journalist, and media advocate, 
will be responsible for managing the bulk of the 
foundation 's media grant-making activities, which 
are expected to total some $7-million this year. 

Boero comes to MacArthur from the Rocke- 
feller Foundation, where she was a Warren Weaver 
Fellow working with independent film and video. 
A former radio reporter for the BBC World Ser- 
vice and local TV producer for CNN in Havana 
and Managua, she has produced radio and televi- 
sion documentaries and news in Australia and 
Latin America and has directed documentaries on 
Central and South America for TV Latina. She 
also served as a director with Film Australia's 
Women's Film Unit in 1984 and, in the early 
1980s, worked as a reporter and anchor for 
Australia's SBS Multicultural Television. She 
was a member of the New South Wales (Austra- 
lia) government's Women's Advisory Council, 
executive officer of the Ethnic Communities Coun- 
cil, and founded La Mascara Theater Group, as 
well as El Expresso, a Spanish language weekly 
newspaper. Since 1988 she has been active in the 
International Public Television Screening Con- 
ference (INPUT) and currently serves as its coor- 
dinator for Latin America. 

At the time of Kirby's death in late 1990, the 
MacArthur Foundation had spent roughly $70- 
million for the support of film, video, and other 
media since 1 978. As a vice president of the board 
of directors, Kirby was a staunch champion of 
independent film and video within the $3-billion 
private philanthropic foundation and was instru- 
mental in establishing it as a funding priority. The 
foundation has provided direct grants to media 
arts centers, funded public television program- 
ming and the Learning Channel's showcase series 
The Independents, and granted fellowships to 
individual mediamakers and scholars through the 
MacArthur "genius grants" — substantial, unre- 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 




stricted five-year fellowships. 

Before his death Kirby recommended that a 
staff person responsible for media be named, but 
his concept went unrealized at the time, leaving a 
void within the foundation and doubts in the 
independent community about the future of 
MacArthur support. Although a 1991 annual pro- 
gram reevaluation affirmed the institution's com- 
mitment to media and Kirby's proposal to create 
a staff position specifically for the field, Boero is 
the first to fill the post. Prior to her appointment 
Woodward A. Wickham, director of the General 
Program and vice president for public affairs, 
managed media grants and, according to Ted 
Hearne, a communications consultant for 
MacArthur, the programs have remained largely 
unchanged. 

Boero does not foresee any dramatic shifts in 
the focus or funding of programs. "The direction 
set by Bill Kirby will continue," she assures. "He 
was very good at strategic funding, at targeting 
money so it would go a long way." Boero empha- 
sizes her and MacArthur' s commitment to sup- 
porting the "diversity of voices" represented by 
independents, continuing the tradition set by Kirby, 
which has served independents well. 

ELLEN LEVY 

CHRISTIAN BLACKWOOD: 
1942-1992 

"/ am aware constantly of time. You cannot bor- 
row it, you cannot beg for it, you cannot save it. I 
have all of a sudden this marvelous place, but I 
still doesn't have enough time. .. that' s what sad- 
dens me. Sometimes I wish I could live forever." 
— Marta Becket from Christian Blackwood's 1989 
documentary film Motel. 

When Christian Blackwood died last July at age 
50, we lost one of the great voices in documentary 
filmmaking. Not only was he one of the best hand- 
held cinematographers, but also a producer of 



Christian Blackwood 

Photo: John Murphy 

iconoclastic portrait films. The lyricism of his 
camera translated into style and grace on the 
screen. His films, including Motel, Private Con- 
versations, and All By Myself: Eartha Kitt, were 
marked by the rhythm of his photography and his 
ability to expose his documentary subjects inti- 
mately. Christian's personality was all over his 
movies. In Motel, Christian evoked the expan- 
siveness of the Southwestern landscape while 
capturing what was most familiar in the unlikely 
setting of three somewhat peculiarmotels. Among 
his otherfilms were several on filmmaking: Signs: 
Lino Br oka, Sam Fuller, and Roger Corman: 
Hollywood's Wild Angel. He also directed 
Yesterday's Witness, on the history of Israel, and 
Black Harvest, a feature drama. 

I met Christian in 1983 while working for his 
brother, Michael. Christian had recently moved 
downtown to the West Village to start his own 
company. Michael's office was always abuzz at 
the mention of Christian's name. When I met him 
I knew why. He was sharp-witted, charming, and 
handsome. He had an insatiable desire to tease, 
and eventually I would learn that the easiest way 
to elicit one of his wonderfully infectious laughs 
was to tease him right back. 

In 1985, I was hired to work with Christian 
editing Nik and Murray, about choreographers 
Al win Nikolais and Murray Louis. He was one of 
those rare filmmakers who knew exactly what he 
wanted in the cutting room. He saw the story 
before it even unfolded. It was a constant chal- 
lenge working with him. He thought nothing of 
12-hour editing days and dismissed fatigue and 
hunger. Christian seemed to survive on coffee, 
cigarettes, and minimal sleep. 

During the final days of editing, he would visit 
us in the cutting room at one or two in the 
morning with his bottle of Napoleon cognac and 
a cigarette dangling from his lip. He would take 
a seat, watch us work, make us laugh, and then 
disappear to his apartment upstairs. My last night 
on that film was spent catching a few hours of 
sleep under Christian's desk and I fancied myself 
a soldier in the Christian Blackwood army. 

More recently, Christian had been producing 
a number of shorts for HBO. He had expressed 
feeling confined by documentaries and had been 
negotiating for some time to make a feature film. 
Christian seemed on the brink of artistic fulfill- 
ment and yet did not live to see this one ambition 
realized. 

I, like many of my peers, was eager to work 
with Christian again. He was one of the most 
demanding, yet charming people in this business. 
His untimely death leaves us all with a painful 
loss, but also a tremendous legacy. He will be 
greatly missed. 

ELIZABETH RICH 
Elizabeth Rich is a filmmaker who lives in New 
York City. 



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SEEING THROUGH AIDS 

Media Activists Join Forces with NYC Department of Health 



ANNE RUBENSTEIN 



Catherine Saalfield and Lillian Jimenez are not 
having a good day. Hardly anyone has shown up 
for the afternoon session of their Seeing Through 
AIDS media workshop. This three-year-old pro- 
gram, designed to teach New York City healthcare 
workers how to use videotapes in AIDS education 
and counseling, is held at various locations 
throughout the five boroughs. The two are con- 
ducting today's workshop in a sterile classroom of 
a central Brooklyn hospital. When three social 




Seeing Through AIDS workshops 

introduce health workers to a range of 

independent productions on AIDS, such 

as Ellen Spiro's amusing documentary 

Diana's Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front. 

Photo: Ellen Spiro, courtesy videomaker 



workers and a woman who trains teenage peer 
counselors appear, Jimenez and Saalfield (who is 
also a contributing editor for this magazine) agree 
to go on with an informal version of the workshop. 
They seem delighted to be there, however small 
their audience. Clearly, repeated exposure to the 
videos they present has not dimmed their enthusi- 
asm. 

The social workers are less enthusiastic, how- 
ever, and seem to have come more to get out of the 
office than to learn about AIDS media. Jimenez is 
about to screen a segment from the Gay Mens 
Health Crisis video Thinking about Death. With 
sympathy and curiosity, she asks the participants, 
"Do you think about death a lot?" 

Long pause. One social worker finally smirks, 
"Yeah, well, we have trainings for it every month." 



Saalfield, fiddling with the VCR, looks up. 
"Really?" 

Long, long pause. The other social worker 
finally explains, "Nah, just kidding." In silence, 
we watch a segment of the tape, then a longer 
piece of With Loving Arms (Child Welfare League). 
Someone's beeper goes off. Everyone laughs ner- 
vously. Finally a more serious discussion about 
care-giver burnout begins. 

As Saalfield later puts it, "Healthcare people 
involved with AIDS have a very tough time. It's 
so hard... I just want to offer them something that 
I hope makes their work a little easier. If it doesn't, 
too bad; if it does, well, we're happy." 

On an average day, the Seeing Through AIDS 
workshops draw between 30 and 100 partici- 
pants — nutritionists, nurses and nurses' aides, 
doctors, technicians, administrators, therapists, 
educators, and others with a professional interest 
in HIV or AIDS. The program is funded by the 
New York City Department of Health (DOH) 
through a grant to Media Network, with addi- 
tional money from the North Star Foundation and 
Hunt Alternatives Fund. Jimenez, Saalfield, and 
trainee Marina Alvarez offer about 1 5 workshops 
per year, which are intended to show healthcare 
workers how they might use media with their 
clients, expose them to videos they might be 
unaware of, and, ultimately, bring these videos to 
a much wider audience. 

Generally, Saalfield and Jimenez show up to 
20 clips drawn from a pool of hundreds of video- 
tapes, most of which are by independent produc- 
ers. All the videos presented through Seeing 
Through AIDS are available for free to healthcare 
workers from the Department of Health's video 
lending library, so the workshops give profession- 
als new ways of using resources to which they 
already have access. Tapes range from Gran Fury's 
30-second PSA Kissing Doesn ' t Kill to M. Neema 
Barnette's 17-minute drama Are You With Me?, 
about a divorced mother who has trouble practic- 
ing the safer sex she preaches, to documentaries 
that range in tone from amusing (Ellen Spiro's 
Diana s Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front) to angry 
(Phil Zwickler's Needle Nightmare). 

A week later, three dozen people crowd into the 
conference room of a philanthropic organization 
in Manhattan for another Seeing Through AIDS 
workshop, this one designed for people who work 
with teenagers. The people attending are mostly 
educators from a service organization for Latino 
youth, joined by a smattering of administrators, 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 13 



outreach workers, and therapists from programs 
around the city. This group seems highly moti- 
vated, although the level of education about AIDS 
and related issues varies widely. Participants in- 
troduce themselves with comments ranging from, 
"This is all new to me," to "I've been working in 
this field for a decade." Some report having seen 
man} of the videos on the afternoon's program, 
and some already use a few with their clients. 
Others have never heard of, much less seen, any 
AIDS videos. Thechallenge for Alvarez, Jimenez, 
and Saalfield is to make sure everyone leaves with 
some new information or skills, without confus- 
ing or boring anyone. 

The workshop begins by asking participants to 
think about their own experiences of margin- 
al ization by mainstream media. This quickly draws 
participants in, since the majority of people in the 
room are of African or Latino descent. "Media is 
an imperfect tool," Jimenez warns, as she shifts 
the subject to AIDS media. "It doesn't represent 
everyone's experience, and you may have to use 
more than one tape because the perfect tape isn't 
there for you." Saalfield gives a pep talk on how 
videoenables us to interrupt and question what we 
see on screen. This prompts an educator to de- 
scribe how she sees kids talking back to the TV, 
and from there the group takes off. 

Jimenez raises a number of topics — peer pres- 
sure, negotiating safer sex, family communica- 
tions, homophobia, death, life after HIV sero- 
conversion — and shows clips; participants respond 
to what they see and to each other. The facilitators 
keep them grounded in media; their approach to 
the workshops explicitly rules out medical issues 
and focuses instead on their own areas of exper- 
tise. "We deal only with the psycho-social as- 
pects," says Jimenez, "all these issues that existed 
before AIDS and were exacerbated by AIDS," 



including racism, homophobia, poverty, and sex- 
ism. When the educators wander off towards 
pedagogical issues, someone cues up another video 
clip. Over and over, Jimenez asks, "How could 
you use this?" Sometimes Saalfield chimes in 
with, "Would it help if you tried...?" 

Possible strategies for media use in AIDS care 
and prevention vary from highly passive to ex- 
tremely active. For instance, some hospitals have 
"rabbits," video systems that allow them to show 
the same tape in every waiting room; surely tapes 
that raise AIDS issues or provide information in 
the context of a narrative, like Vida, The Salt 
Mines, or Dolores, would be just as diverting as 
the commercial TV or rented movies often seen in 
waiting rooms. The workshop offers more inter- 
ventionist approaches, suggesting video-based 
role-plays and mid-tape discussions. A favorite 
technique is to stop a tape at a cliff-hanger mo- 
ment — e.g., when a couple is just about to make 
love and one brings up the subject of condoms — 
and ask the workshop participants to discuss the 
scene. 

Interventionist techniques allow for the careful 
use of mainstream pieces which, seen whole, are 
discouragingly sexist or racist, or are full of mis- 
information. The workshop demonstrates, for in- 
stance, how John Leguizamo's HBO special 
Mambo Mouth can be turned into a tool for dis- 
cussing masculinity and peer pressure. The facili- 
tators play a clip in which a teenage boy boasts to 
a friend that he's lost his virginity: "I'm a man! Do 
I look different?" When the laughter dies down, 
Jimenez says, "Okay! Now is the moment to bring 
up peer pressure. Ask them whether this kid is 
lying." An educator raises her hand: "This would 
work for an all-boy group, but..." Saalfield repeats 
what all three workshop leaders have said already, 
"No tape is perfect for every purpose. If you need 




Reverend Mrs. Audrey Johnson, a 

pediatric nurse and Baptist minister, 

speaks out in Women and Children Last, a 

documentary about women and AIDS by 

Gini Reticker and Amber Hollibaugh. 

Courtesy videomakers 

a peer pressure tape for a mixed group..." She 
names three of four other tapes; everyone takes 
notes. 

During the break halfway through the three- 
hour session, people gather in knots by the coffee 
machine, talking rapidly, excited. Bits of conver- 
sation rise above the general hubbub: "I heard the 
craziest statistics yesterday...." "Are they gonna 
talk about condom failure?" "Yeah, but was that 
what you learned when you were a kid?" The 
workshop is pushing buttons. 

According to Media Network director Don 
Derosby, the Department of Health (DOH) hopes 
that after the workshop these excited participants 
will use the videos both in working with clients 
and to educate their colleagues. The DOH likes 
the "technological edge and the user friendli- 
ness," Derosby says, but most of all it likes the 
chance to "push the information down deeper" in 
health care organizations. 

Later, the organizers explain that the form of 
the workshops is no accident. They have been 
evolving ever since they were founded three years 
ago by media activist Ray Navarro, who died of 
AIDS-related illness in 1990. They have become 
increasingly interactive, moving away from a 
format where the media "expert" would lecture 
the medical "experts," then leave. The facilitators 
have also become increasingly confident about 
integrating gay and lesbian concerns into every 
section of the workshop, rather than ghettoizing 
them in a separate section. 

"Lillian and I have worked hard on them," says 
Saalfield. Alvarez points out that her being HIV- 
positive, her identification with the Latina com- 
munity, her background in media (she codirected 
Invisible Women with Ellen Spiro), and her activ- 
ism give her an authority that even medical ex- 
perts have to respect. "We have something to say 
to each other," she notes. 

The program is now beginning to expand. 
Alvarez was brought in during the fall. A new 
grant from the Hunt Alternatives Fund will allow 
15 additional workshops next year to be aimed 
specifically at AIDS issues for women of color. 
Other expansion plans involve targeting work- 
shops for people who work with youths outside 
the healthcare system, especially social workers 
and teachers. Next year, too, Media Network 
plans a "comprehensive evaluation" of the Seeing 



Vida, an AIDS prevention film for Latina 
women, is one of a series written, directed, 
and aimed at Latino and African-American 
audiences by AIDSFILMS. 

Photo: Prashant Gupta, courtesy AIDSFILMS 



14 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 




Through AIDS program, for which they have 
requested Ford Foundation funding, says Derosby . 
This evaluation, in turn, would encourage more 
funders outside the DOH to step in. The DOH is 
"jubilant" over the program, reports Derosby, but 
"it's frustrating because they don't have money to 
expand it." Finally, Media Network and Seeing 
Through AIDS organizers are working on ex- 
panding outside New York City, beginning with 
New York State. "That's very tough," admits 
Derosby, "because outside of New York City it is 
very difficult to replicate the AIDS video library 
system." 

The organizers see the workshops as a new 
model for alternative media. "As a producer," 
says Saalfield, who has made videos on her own 
and with ACT HP's DIVA-TV collective, "the 
idea that a tape I make about AIDS or HIV is going 
around on the festival circuit just doesn't do it for 
me. That's not enough. I want it to be used. I want 
people to start them and stop them and argue with 
them, with no fancy thing about me being an 
artiste." She yearns for more HIV-related tapes 
about young girls and about lesbians, and wishes 
that they could give tapes away to educators 
directly, rather than only making them available 
through the Department of Health library. She 
thinks big: "We could explode people's whole 
idea about media, I think. Everyone is so bored of 
the standard, mainstream media. Nurses and doc- 
tors and people with HIV, too. Things could be 
really different." 

Jimenez — whose long career in media includes 
producing documentaries as well as years as a 
funder, organizer, curator, and consultant — adds, 
"I moan and groan about some pieces because I 
think the camerawork is lousy or the audio is 
problematic or the structure is wrong. But people 
learn to work with what's out there. They are 
really adaptable." She believes the "the next step 
is talking to the filmmakers. ..to tell them what 
works. Not all your work needs to be utilitarian, 
but in this area, you should know how to be 
helpful. You don't have to be mainstream to make 
a difference." 

Anne Rubenstein is a graduate student of Latin 
America history and a fellow of the Center for 
Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture at 
Rutgers University. She has writtenforlnthe Life, 
The Comic Journal, Outweek, and the Village 
Voice. 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



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THE INDEPENDENT 15 



DREAMING WITH EYES OPEN 

The First Nation's Dreamspeakers Festival 



SALLY BERGER 



Imagining Indians, a feature-length 

documentary by Hopi video artist Victor 

Masayesva, looks at the commodification of 

native culture: from collector trafficking in 

sacred objects to the non-native usurpation of 

spiritual ceremonies and native culture. 

Courtesy videomaker 



Dreamspeakers — the name for the festival of First 
Nations film and video — comes from "dream- 
talkers," the Dene peoples' way of referring to 
"dreaming with one's eyes open." It is also a name 
recently given to describe the visualization of 
native culture through television and film. Dream- 
speakers was held in Edmonton, Alberta, the third 
week in September as the weather was swinging 
from hot to cold, from rain to sun to snow, and the 
birch tree leaves covering the Great Plains were a 
russet yellow. 

The festival was structured as both a cultural 
event for the city and a meeting ground for indig- 
enous peoples to further First Nations media- 
making. "First Nations" is a recently adopted term 
that refers to the self-governing nations prior to 




contact by invading conquerors. It is a global 
concept that encompasses terms such as "aborigi- 
nal," "native," "Indian," and "indigenous," and is 
a claim against the more negative connotations of 
"Fourth World." 

A first-time event, Dreamspeakers was orga- 
nized by the Aboriginal Filmmakers Association 



of Alberta (AFMAA) and was started as an alter- 
native to the Indian Summer World Festival of 
Aboriginal Motion Pictures, held in the Alberta 
community of Pincher Creek from the mid-1980s 
to 1990. According to AFMAA president and 
Dreamspeakers committee member Greg Coyes, 
"In April of 1991, the Aboriginal Filmmakers 
Association of Alberta brought 50 producers, 
writers, directors, and actors together for the first 
time from across the nation. What came up was 
the lack of a festival that served aboriginal people. 
Pincher Creek had evolved away from that. We 
took the initiative to mount a festival; this put us 
in competition for provincial funds." A year-and- 
a-halflaterthe aboriginal-run Dreamspeakers was 
a reality, with funding from a variety of govern- 
mental and nongovernmental sources, Edmonton- 
based sponsors, and the help of many volunteers. 

Dreamspeaker's daytime program, centrally 
based at a Holiday Inn, included hands-on work- 
shops, plenary sessions, and a readily available 
screening room. Throughout the city of Edmonton, 
singing, drumming, and theatrical performances 
took place along with poetry readings and 
storytelling, bands ranging from traditional to 
heavy metal to hybrid styles of music, an art 
exhibit, and food and craft sales. 

Every evening public screenings were held at 
four city theaters. The programs often began with 
a speech, followed by a live performance, then the 
films or videotapes. Over 50 films and videos 
were screened: documentaries, feature-length dra- 
mas, and animation made largely by indigenous 
directors from nine or so countries (Canada, New 
Zealand, the U.S., the Republic of Vanuata, Aus- 
tralia, France, Taiwan, Great Britain, and a Peru/ 
Sweden coproduction). 

The majority of the works came from Canada, 
and most were documentaries about indigenous 
history, culture, and art. Starting Fire with Gun- 
powder, curated by David Poisey and David 
Hansen, examined Inuit programming produced 
for the Arctic and northern regions of Canada. 
Heartland, by Greg Coyes, explored different 
indigenous responses to the deforestation of Ca- 
nadian timberland. There was a retrospective of 
works by Willy Dunn, one of the first native 
Canadian filmmakers. Another sidebar featured a 
selection of Canada's production by and about 
indigenous Canadians, which spanned the 30- 
year history of the National Film Board (NFB). 
This included Alanis Obomsawin's documentary 
about foster care, Richard Cardinal: Cry of a 
Metis Boy. Obomsawin was one of the first women 



16 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 




In 1990, 300 Lakota Sioux rode through bitter 
sub-zero weather to mourn the lives lost 100 
years earlier at Wounded Knee. Wiping the 
Tears of Seven Generations, by Fidel Moreno 
(Yaqui/Huichol) and Gary Rhine, tells the story 
of the Big Foot Memorial Ride. 

Courtesy filmmakers 

native producers, who has been actively produc- 
ing social issue films for the past two decades. 

Documentaries from the United States included 
Hopi video artist Victor Masayesva's newly re- 
leased Imagining Indians and Fidel Moreno's 
Peyote Road, about outlawed sacred Indian reli- 
gious rituals. Films from Down Under were well 
represented, with the Aboriginal Unit of the Aus- 
tralian Broadcasting Corporation presenting 
Frances Peter's Tent Embassy, while Jindalee 
Lady, by aboriginal Australian director Brian 
Syron, and New Zealand Maori director Barry 
Barclay's Ngati and Te Rita number among the 
festival's outstanding dramatic features. These 
films represent some of the first features made by 
indigenous makers. The more mainstream yet 
activist Incident at Oglala, one of the few films at 
Dreamspeakers directed by a non-indigenous per- 
son, Michael Apted from Great Britain, drama- 
tizes the controversial conviction of AIM activist 
Leonard Peltier following an FBI shoot-out on the 
Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Other 
notable works included Navaho Talking Picture 
(Arlene Bowman, USA), Nightcries (Tracey 
Moffat, Australia), and The Man from Island West 
(Huang Mingchuan, Taiwan). 

Events leading up to the festival dramatically 
mirrored the frustrations felt by aboriginal writ- 
ers, producers, directors, and actors regarding the 
barriers facing them in producing their work and 
selling it in the marketplace. A week before the 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



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festival, pressure was exerted by the First Nations 
Film Makers Alliance for better international ab- 
original representation. Their complaints were 
heeded; at the last minute films were added and 
deleted from the program, giving a stronger voice 
to indigenous-produced work. According to Coyes, 
"The controversy was over films included in the 
program regarded as native stories told by cre- 
ative teams that did not include native involve- 
ment... There was a voice that said we should not 
be programming non-native films ahead of native 
peoples.'" 

This sentiment was palpable at the festival. 
Many natives view moving-image media as a 
natural transition from the oral, imagistic tradi- 
tions of indigenous people and see themselves as 
contemporary storytellers. They have the goal of 
reconstructing and preserving the history and cul- 
ture of First Nations peoples. Film and video 
allow them to collect stories from elders, animate 
the creation myths which traditionally have been 
handed down orally, and present the lives and 
personal memories of aboriginal peoples who 
have largely been ignored. For some, like veteran 
Metis director Wil Campbell, the documentary is 
a logical direction: "We need to make documen- 
taries because we are going through a healing 
process." 

Some entities in Canada do support native 
productions: the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation 
and other native communications societies cover- 
ing the Arctic and northern territories, the Na- 
tional Film Board of Canada's Studio One and 
Studio D, and independent production compa- 
nies. But indigenous Canadian producers want to 
move quickly toward greater control of their own 
images. New efforts are being made to redress the 
lack of work originating from the native commu- 
nity and to provide financial backing through 
federal and provincial government and nongov- 
ernment sources. The Canadian Broadcasting 
Corporation has a new 13-part dramatic series, 
tentatively titled The Four Directions, which fea- 
tures stories by native writers. Nonetheless, Maria 
Armstrong, the series' non-native creative head, 
was challenged by producers at the festival who 
felt that The Four Directions would not clearly 
reflect native voices nor go far enough in employ- 
ing native crews and directors. Studio One was 
founded last year as an independent aboriginal 
studioof the NFB and is headed by producerCarol 
Geddes of the Tlingit Nation. However, it has 
limited funds; so far it has given small grants to 
approximately 50 native projects and has pro- 
vided badly needed production training. 

The film and video producers who brought 
their work to Dreamspeakers from around the 
world had, in many cases, certain common inter- 
ests. One recurrent theme centered on how indig- 
enous history has been reshaped by mainstream 
media, government, religion, and education. Ac- 
tress Tantoo Cardinal made this clear in her intro- 
duction to The Learning Path, a work by Metis 
producer Loretta Todd on the trauma of being sent 



18 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 




Maori and modern 
cultures clash in Te Rua 
{The Storehouse) a 
German/New Zealand 
coproduction about the 
spiritual and cultural 
appropriation of Pacific 
traditions by 
Europeans. 

Photo: Andrzej Nowakowzki, 
courtesy filmmaker 



to residential schools for indigenous children: 
"When I was a young girl," recalled Cardinal, "I 
felt a sense of shame about being Indian. Many 
people were punished about speaking their native 
language. We were made ignorant of our history 
and our culture. And our residential school system 
can take credit for that. To be Indian was to be part 
of the past; we had no future." 

Hopi director Victor Masayesva's feature- 
length, experimental documentary Imagining In- 
dians navigates issues that touch upon the core of 
native identity. It addresses the exploitation of the 
native community in the making of commercial 
films such as Dances with Wolves, The Dark 
Wind, Thunderheart, and A Man Called Horse, 
the buying and selling of sacred objects by collec- 
tors, and the usurping of spiritual ceremonies and 
native culture by non-natives. 

Many of the festival's documentaries look back 
at history to learn from the past and reenvision the 
future. Christine Welsh, who moderated the pro- 
ducers' workshop, presented Women in the Shad- 
ows, a moving portrait exploring her roots as a 
Metis — part-white, part Indian — and the largely 
unknown history of mixed-race families who have 
denied their ancestry to assimilate into dominant 
cultures. Using documentary footage and reenact- 
ments, Welsh discloses how she meets her own 
personal challenge "to survive as a whole and 
healthy person without having to reject a part of 
what I am." A similar theme is found in Arlene 
Bowman's Navaho Talking Picture, about her 
youthful quest to film her traditional grandmother 
on the Navaho reservation. 

Fidel Moreno (Yaqui/Huichol) and Gary 
Rhine's Wiping the Tears of Seven Generations is 
about the Lakota Sioux and the Big Foot Memo- 
rial Ride, which took place in 1990, 100 years 
after the Wounded Knee massacre. The film in- 
corporates archival photographs taken by the U.S. 
government at the massacre and contemporary 
interviews with memorial riders. As participant 
Birgil Kill Straight explained, "The ride was made 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



to set the pace for the next seven generations, not 
to commemorate the 100th anniversary." 

Another broad theme evident in documentaries 
from the Solomon Islands to Vancouver to the 
Amazon is the subject of the deforestation and 
environmental destruction that results from the 
corporate development of native lands. Coyes' 
Heartland investigates the lives of indigenous 
people in the foothills of Alberta and the West 
Coast of Vancouver Island. Here the native com- 
munities are split over the heart of native Canada, 
which is the forest. Some work for the timber 
companies in Alberta, while others, in Vancouver, 
live on the land and oppose its destruction. In 
developing this story Coyes decided to highlight 
the conflict because ordinarily, "Aboriginal people 
are all painted with the same brush." 

The videotape Em i Graun Blong Yumi (This Is 
Our Land) was presented by Somalian Patrick 
Kekae from the SEI! Theater Group and Jacob 
Sams. Kekae's opening words were in reference 
to the spirit of native forests: "I have been dream- 
ing and I am here." Em i Graun Blong Yumi 
depicts several theater groups going into wilder- 
ness areas of Melanesia, including the Republic of 
Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New 
Guinea, to educate people about health issues, 
community conflicts, and multinational defores- 
tation propositions that ignore their community 
laws, constitutional rights, and indigenous cul- 
ture. The Wan Smol Bag acting troupe visits an 
isolated transitional community on the Sepik River 
in Papua New Guinea — one of the few remaining 
primitive forests — to examine through parody 
and reenactment the tactics used by corporate 
developers to gain access to the territory. 

The Maori from Aerotera (New Zealand) and 
aboriginal Australians were an influential pres- 
ence at the festival because of their experience 
working in both documentary and feature films. 
Dreamspeakers board member and Dene director 
Raymond Yakeleya noted, "The Maori are a great 
inspiration." However, different circumstances 



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have shaped the development of indigenous me- 
dia in Canada and New Zealand. There are more 
than 50 different languages spoken in Canada 
with an aboriginal population of six percent. The 
Maori in New Zealand share a common language 
and make up 15 percent of the overall population. 
Nonetheless, the Maori in attendance were more 
than willing to share knowledge and advice. 

Maori director Barry Barclay's first feature, 
Ngati, was selected for the Critic's Week at Cannes 
in 1987. He led the director's workshop with a 
behind-the-scenes approach and gentle manner 
that belied the power of his filmmaking. Ngati 
was screened with his second feature, TeRua (The 
Storehouse) a German/New Zealand coproduction. 
Te Rita is about the spiritual and cultural appro- 
priation of Pacific traditions by Europeans. Three 
sacred wooden carvings from the fictional Uritoto 
region of New Zealand, stolen 1 00 years ago, have 
been purchased by a Berlin museum. The carv- 
ings are rediscovered by a young Maori poet, who 
is drawn to them by their spiritual power and 
through the dreams of an old Maori woman. He 
embarks on a crusade to return the carvings with 
the initially unwilling aid of a Maori lawyer and 
sympathetic Maori activists. Unsuccessful, they 
set up a protest in a squatters' building and turn the 
tables by stealing three Roman busts. The white 
women who assist these men ultimately remain 
separate from the struggle, dramatically empha- 
sizing the Maori point of view that the fight for 
sovereignty remains with the aboriginal people. 

Tainui Television producers Morehu McDonald 
and Tukoroirangi Morgan, from New Zealand, 
are successful pioneers in the design of an inde- 
pendent Maori television station. They are ada- 
mant that whites play only secondary, if any, role 
in their productions. Their documentary on the 
largest biannual Maori cultural event, featuring 
traditional dance, was aired on both New Zealand 
networks. Morgan said the entire staff was Maori 
except for two whites, who owned the equipment 
they needed. 

The Maori men were vocal about recognizing 
the powerful cultural role of women (although 
there are fewer women directors than men). One 
outstanding female director is Riwia Brown, who 
wrote and directed Roimata, a drama about a 
young rural Maori woman who travels to the city 
to live with her urbanized half-sister. Roimata was 
written as part of ETipu E Rea {Grow Up Tender 
Young Shoot), a series of Maori dramas produced 
after the Te Maunkau Trust was established in 
1988. This entity, created by Television New 
Zealand, the New Zealand Film Commission, and 
Te Manu Aute, a committee of Maori film and 
television communicators, was designed to create 
programming by Maori talent for broad audiences 
and to provide training for young Maori filmmak- 
ers. 

Frances Peters, an aboriginal woman working 
for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, wrote 
and produced Tent Embassy, which looks at the 
twentieth anniversary of the struggle for aborigi- 
nal rights in Australia. In 1972 four young activ- 



20 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



ists set up a Tent Embassy in front of Parliament 
to announce the aboriginal people's sovereignty 
and to seek their fundamental rights to land. Peters 
uses archival footage and interviews with the 
original activists and younger people who have no 
memory of the event to reflect on cultural loss, the 
consequences of assimilation, and social activ- 
ism. 

Dreamspeakers brought together Maori, Dene, 
Cree, Ojibway, Sami, Hopi, Metis, Aboriginal 
Australians, and other indigenous peoples. Al- 
though diverse, all share the common experience 
of colonization and repression. Throughout the 
week participants reflected briefly on their pain- 
ful histories. But they mostly focused on looking 
ahead, making changes, and taking action toward 
the creation of their own images. Ideas for inter- 
national collaborations flourished in the produc- 
ers' workshop. One project that was already in 
progress and was further developed during 
Dreamspeakers was From Spirit to Spirit. This 
television series is an impressive endeavor be- 
cause it is one of the first coproductions uniting so 
many different indigenous groups — Maoris, Aus- 
tralian Aboriginals, Samis from Norway, and 
Canadian natives. 

By the end of the week, two days of plenary 
sessions and screenings were preempted so par- 
ticipants could meet to form an international alli- 
ance with the key purpose of raising the visibility 
of stories written, directed, and crewed by First 
Nations people. The new group, called First Na- 
tions Film and Video World Alliance, will be 
formally established by 1994 at a World Film 
Festival in Canada. Its membership will be based 
on the descendants of First Nations, with the 
membership determined by the First Nations com- 
munity. Wil Campbell, a skilled organizer and 28- 
year veteran director from Canada, is co-spokes- 
person of the new group along with Ngatai Huata 
of New Zealand. 

The objectives of the alliance are to raise aware- 
ness of First Nations ' issues. They aim to establish 
a film and video communications network; to 
ensure that traditional lands, language, and cul- 
ture are protected and preserved; to implement 
exchanges of First Nations artists, film- and 
videomakers, and technicians; to establish na- 
tional and international conferences for First Na- 
tions mediamakers; to promote the survival of 
mother tongues as the first language; to ensure the 
environmental participation of First Nations 
people; to support projects or teaching of First 
Nations history and culture; and to stimulate the 
distribution of First Nations film and video pro- 
ductions. 

This final outcome of Dreamspeakers was spon- 
taneous. "The First Nations Film and Video World 
Alliance was the most exciting development," 
said Coyes. "That wasn't a goal, but it happened. 
Dreamspeakers was a gathering of aboriginal 
people who had found their voice." 

Sally Berger is executive director of International 
Film Seminars. 




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THE INDEPENDENT 21 



GIANT TO THE NORTH 

Toronto International Film Festival of Festivals 



DARYL CHIN 



With ever)' film festival that has remained in 
existence over the long haul, there are ebbs and 
flows, ups and downs. One 1 7-year-old festival on 
the upswing is the Toronto International Film 
Festival of Festivals. Initially devised as a North 
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val has become daunting in magnitude: it seems as 
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held September 1 0-29, 1 992, packaged 320 films 
into 1 1 programs, including Contemporary World 



Toronto, the test case occured in 1989, when 
several films that were considered doomed by the 
Los Angeles film industry — Roger and Me and 
Drugstore Cowboy — were screened and, as a re- 
sult of their favorable reception in Toronto, went 
on to general acclaim. Since then, U.S. distribu- 
tors, exhibitors, and critics have descended upon 
Toronto every September, like a swarm of locusts 
on a field of wheat. 

Toronto stands as a model for an international 
film festival. The term "multicultural" is, by now, 
fraught with all sorts of baggage, but Toronto is 
proudly a "multicultural" city. People from spe- 
cific ethnic groups will buy tickets not only to 
films about themselves, but also are interested in 
seeing work about other groups. The idea that a 




The sell-out crowds for Mark Achbar and Peter 
Wintonick' Manufacturing Consent: Noam 
Chomsky and the Media — a dense documentary 
on the linguistics scholar and social activist — 
attests to the sophistication of Toronto audiences. 

Photo: Jerry Berndt, courtesy Necessary Illusions 

Cinema, First Cinema (directorial debuts), The 
Edge ("Filmmaking that ignores the rules"), Mid- 
night Madness, sidcbarson Asian and Latin Ameri- 
can cinema, and more. 

In the case of every prominent festival, there is 
always the test case, the example that proves the 
festival's importance to the business of film. For 



mainstream exists is belied by the sheer diversity 
of the festival: although larger Hollywood films 
like Mr. Saturday Night and Peter's Friends are 
shown at the festivals' largest theaters, the Elgin 
and the Bloor, these arc not assumed to be the only 
films of general interest. Press coverage was ex- 
tensive on such films as Careful, by the quirky 
Canadian directorGuy Maddin,Just Another Girl 
on the IRT, a feature about an African American 
teenage girl by first-time director Leslie Harris, 
and a three-hour documentary on Noam Chomsky, 
Manufacturing Consent — surely films distinctly 
out of the mainstream. 

The fact that Toronto is a wildly diverse city, 



with people of many races and ethnic groups, 
means that almost every film is able to find its 
audience. Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chom- 
sky and the Media, by Mark Achbar and Peter 
Wintonick, is a case in point. It screened at 10 
o'clock in the morning. Everyone I knew figured 
that getting to the theater at 9 a.m. would be 
sufficient, but the line had started forming long 
before. By the time tokens were handed out, most 
of the industry and press people were not able to 
get in. A sold-out screening this early in the 
morning for a very detailed, dense, highly verbal 
documentary about the linguistics scholar and 
social activist is a testimony to the openness and 
the dedication of the Toronto audience. 

Manufacturing Consent was one of a number 
of Canadian premieres that helped make the Fes- 
tival of Festivals special. Another was Forbidden 
Love, the docudrama by Aerlyn Weissman and 
Lynne Fernie. Attempting to claim a lesbian cul- 
ture from the 1950s, the film starts with those 
pulp, paperback novels from that period. In addi- 
tion to interviewing Ann Bannon, one prominent 
author, the filmmakers interviewed a number of 
women who mention those novels as being impor- 
tant to their sexuality. Despite the specialized 
subject matter, the audience at the the sold-out 
screening was not exclusively female. Likewise, 
no public screening that I encountered during the 
festival was attended solely by one specific inter- 
est group. The festival also showcased several 
other films dealing with the attempt to define a 
lesbian history: Laurie Colbert and Dominique 
Cardona's Thank God I'm a Lesbian, also from 
Canada, and Barbara Hammer's marvellously in- 
ventive and highly emotional Nitrate Kisses, from 
the United States. 

Just as the Toronto festival has a reputation for 
spotlighting innovative, alternative films, so too 
docs the Toronto audience demostrate a willing- 
ness to see such work. One couple I talked with 
while on line was typical, dividing their list of 
choices: he was interested in action films and had 
seen Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Abel 
Ferrara's The Bad Lieutenant , and John Woo's 
Hard-Boilcd, while she had gone to a number of 
"literary" films, including Sally Potter's Orlando 
and Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Lover. Both went 
to see George Sluizer's elegant and understated 
Utz, an adaptation of Bruce Chatwin 's novel about 
a European art collector, as well as Stanley K wan 's 
intricate and complex Actress, his biographical 
film about the Chinese movie star Ruan Ling Yu. 

Orlando was among the films that created a stir 



22 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/ FEBRUARY 1993 



this year. Sally Potter's adaptation of Virginia 
Woolfs novel came to the festival after appearing 
at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the 
International Catholic Prize. An international 
coproduction partially shot in Russia, Orlando 
arrived in Toronto without North American distri- 
bution. By the end of the festival, the buzz sur- 
rounding the film caused at least three firm offers. 
Sony Classics ultimately picked up the film. Clara 
Law's Autumn Moon came to Toronto after win- 
ning the Grand Prize at the Locarno Film Festival. 
A charming, delicate comedy about the friendship 
of a Japanese tourist and a Chinese girl in Hong 
Kong, this movie was well-received, but got caught 
in a festival timing trap. Since it was also in the 
New York Film Festival, held a few weeks later, 
distributors who were interested in Autumn Moon 
claimed they had to wait until it received its New 
York reviews. Other films reported to have found 
North American distributors by the end of the 
festival were Okohe, Takehiro Nakajima's sar- 
donic and witty account of a young woman's 
friendship with a gay couple, and Hyenas, an 
adaptation of Durrenmatt's play The Visit by 
Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety, which 
proved to be a sophisticated crowd pleaser. 

Given the sheer enormity of the festival, it was 
impossible for every film to get a press/industry 
screening. Unfortunately, the system of distribut- 
ing tokens to the public screenings meant that 
press and distributors could not necessarily get a 



guaranteed seat. The token system requires that 
everyone line up at least one hour prior to the 
screening and get a token. When all the tokens are 
distributed, the screening is sold out — no special 
priviledges for press or industry people. The to- 
ken system of attendance was much debated, with 
many industry and press attendees finding it dif- 
ficult to attend desired screenings. 

With that in mind as a drawback, the Toronto 
Festival of Festivals remains an excellent festival. 
Although Toronto is a noncompetitive festival, 
this year FIPRESCI (the International Federation 
of Film Critics) presented a juried prize for Best 
First Film (justifying the addition of the First 
Cinema section). This prize went to Reservoir 
Dogs. There is also the People's Choice Award, in 
which audience members cast ballots for films 
they particularly enjoyed; the winner was Baz 
Luhrmann's.Sr/7c7/vfia//r<wM, an Australian film 
with Miramax as its distributor. A separate audi- 
ence award for the favorite film from the Perspec- 
tive Canada section went to Robert Morin's Re- 
quiem pour un Beau Sans-Coeur. 

All in all, the Toronto International Film Festi- 
val of Festivals demonstrates a loyalty to its audi- 
ences, and they have responded by remaining 
open to a broad spectrum of film cultures, both 
mainstream and alternative. For instance, this 
year a last-minute change in the closing night gala 
presentation hardly caused a ripple of dissent 
among audiences. Woody Allen's Husbands and 





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Clara Law's Autumn Moon. 

Courtesy Film Society of Lincoln Center 

Wives was supposed to wind up the festival on 
September 1 9. But it was cancelled when Tri-Star 
moved the film's U.S. theatrical opening up to 
September 1 8 after the director's personal affairs 
started attracting headlines. Another world pre- 
miere had to be found fast. So it was decided to 
substitute Ron Mann's documentary Twist — a 
choice that proved to be well-respected. While not 
innovative or particularly insightful. Twist was 
nostalgiac and highly entertaining, with a lot of 
wonderful rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues 
from the 1950s and 1960s. For those of us from the 
United States, this was a reminder that our pop 
culture has entered world culture at a time when 
our own culture seems increasingly fragmented. 

Daryl Chin is a writer and curator living in New 
York City. 



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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 23 



A TAXING EXPERIENCE 

Two Taxes New York City Producers Should Know About 



SUSAN LEE 



This article is presented only for the purpose of 
educating independent producers. Independent 
film- and videomakers should, therefore, always 
consult a tax consultant before undertaking any 
course that may have ramifications for their tax 
returns. 

A letter comes from New York City. It says you 
owe $7,000 for Unincorporated Business Tax. 
"I'm not an unincorporated business. I'm a video 
artist." you say. Well, you are both an unincor- 
porated business and a video artist. It may come as 
a surprise to many freelance film- and videomakers, 
but there are two New York City taxes that may 
apply to you. Although you might not owe any 
additional money, you may need to fill out the 
appropriate forms or pay a potentially stiff price in 
penalties. 



If you net less than $25,000 on your federal 
schedule C, you can usually opt to file the city's 
one-page short form, NYC 202 EZ, and you won't 
owe anything. A much longer and more compli- 
cated NYC 202 is for people who net more than 
$25,000 or who have certain modifications or 
allocations. 

Generally, the formula for figuring out the tax 
is not difficult. Take the net figure from the 
bottom of your federal schedule C. The first thing 
to be subtracted is your "taxpayer services," which 
is 20 percent of your net figure or $5,000, which- 
ever is lower. After this calculation, you have an 
automatic $5,000 exemption, which gets sub- 
tracted. Multiply the result by four percent. That 
number is your basic tax before credits. If the 
number is more than $800, there is no credit. If it's 
less than $600, you will get a credit of up to the 
number. For between $600 and $800, subtract the 
tax from $800 and divide that by $200 multiplied 
by the tax. That's your credit, which is then 
subtracted from the tax. 



Everyone who is in business in the City of 
New York and does not get paid as a 
W-2 employee may have to file a business 
tax form. 



Unincorporated B usiness Tax 

Everyone who is in business in the City of New 
York and does not get paid as a W-2 employee 
may have to file a business tax form, be it for a 
corporation, a partnership, or, as here, an 
unincorporated business. If you are a sole propri- 
etor (e.g. make films and videos of your own, or 
freelance as an editor, cinematographer, etc. and 
get paid without taxes being taken out), which is 
the same as being an unincorporated business, and 
you cither show any profit or you gross more than 
$10,000 a year, you must file an Unincorporated 
Business Tax (UBT) form yearly by April 15. 

In the entertainment industry, the word 
"freelance" means people who are not under long- 
term contracts. Freelancers get paid on W-2s or 
1099s. For tax purposes, "freelance" means you 
are not paid as an employee. The New York City 
Unincorporated Business Tax does not apply to 
money earned as an employee on a W-2 but docs 
apply to all other earned income. 



For example, Betty Editor netted $41,000 on 
her schedule C this year. Her 20 percent taxpayer 
service allowance is $8,200, which is reduced to 
the$5,000maximum.$41,000-$5,000 = $36,000. 
Then comes the $5,000 exemption. $36,000 - 
$5,000 = $3 1 ,000. That's multiplied by 4 percent 
or $ 1 ,240, which she owes for the year. There is no 
credit. 

Like other federal and state income taxes, this 
tax must be paid quarterly. If it isn't, the city will 
charge interest. Curiously, although it seems like 
it is a business tax, it can only be taken as an 
expense on a schedule A on the federal tax as a 
personal deduction and not on a schedule C as a 
business expense. Further, it is not allowed as a 
deduction on your New York State tax. 

"Nobody ever told me about this tax," you say. 
I'm sorry to reply that this excuse will get you 
nowhere. You still owe the tax. And this tax can 
mount up. Especially for people who have been in 
business for a long time. Before 1987, the cutoff 



for owing any Unincorporated Business Tax was 
$9,000 net and not the current $25,000. 

Com merc ial Rent Tax 

"I got this thing in the mail. It's for commercial 
property...I threw it away," you say. Commercial 
Rent Tax is for, among other things, any person 
doing business in the city who takes a rent deduc- 
tion. Just because you work out of your house 
doesn't exempt you. The only exception is if you 
own property in your name. Coops are not exempt 
because the owner possesses stock in a corpora- 
tion and not in a particular piece of property. 

You owe Commercial Rent Tax if you pay 
more than $11,000 in business rent and work 
south of 96th Street in Manhattan. Working north 
of 96th Street or in any non-Manhattan borough 
gives you a 30 percent deduction. For instance, if 
you have an office in Queens for $12,000 a year, 
you owe nothing. The same rent in Manhattan gets 
you a six percent tax of $720. If you work at home, 
the "business rent" is the portion of your rent that 
you allocate for business, not your total rent. 
Begin by filling out the form on page two. You do 
not have to pay on residential use. You deduct the 
amount for that on page two. 

Problems occur with subtenants of spaces where 
the total amount of the rent collected exceeds 
$11,000 but the subtenants pay less than the 
taxable amount. The city is determined to get its 
tax one way or another. 

George Producer finds a great space in Tribeca 
for $36,000. He knows that Eleanor Agent needs 
a space. He's not greedy. He allocates by space 
and doesn't want a profit. Her rent will be $27,000 
a year. She will pay six percent on her $27,000 or 
$1,620. He will pay nothing on his $9,000 share. 

Eleanor Agent's two hottest talents jump to 
other agents and Eleanor decides not to renew the 
lease. George finds five subtenants at $6,000 
each. He doesn't realize that because each of his 
subtenants pays less than $1 1 ,000 a year, he will 
be stuck for the tax on $36,000 or $2, 1 60. George 
will pay his Commercial Rent Tax quarterly as he 
goes along in the year on forms CR-Q. His 
subtenants, who owe nothing, must also file the 
tax by sending form CR-A, but they will do so by 
June 20 of each year. 

Even if you don't owe anything for Commer- 
cial Rent Tax, you must file. The city has a penalty 
of $50 for every $1,000 of rent you've deducted. 
If you've taken a $3,200 rent deduction, you can 
still get a $200 bill in the mail for the year you 
haven't filed. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



Even if you don't 
owe anything for 
Commercial Rent 
Tax, you must file or 
pay a penalty. 

This is not a tax to be ignored. 

"How can the city find me?" you ask. Easily — 
with computers. The city has access to schedule 
C's from both the state and the IRS. They cross 
check who has filed schedule C's and UBT's or 
CR's. Out will come a name of someone who 
hasn't filed one or the other or both. A question- 
naire for either the UBT or the Commercial Rent 
Tax will be sent out. If you fill it in and backfile 
your taxes, you will get a questionnaire about the 
other tax sooner or later. If you ignore it, you'll get 
a bill in the mail that may or may not bear any 
resemblance to what you owe but will probably 
scare you nonetheless. You may get such a bill 
even if you have filed. 

If you need to communicate with the city, make 
sure you keep a copy of the correspondence. No 
matter how correct it is, the city may ignore what 
you've said. If they do, just send in a second copy 
of the communication. If this doesn't work, try 
calling the general information number of (718) 
935-6000 and see if you can work it out over the 
phone. The number is the same one used to request 
forms. Various people, including myself, have 
tried to have the filing requirements for these 
taxes changed as well as the taxes abolished. But 
until the taxes are no more, it is best to pay 
attention to them and to file. 

Susan Lee is a Soho-based tax consultant who 
specializes in taxation for filmmakers and 
individuals. 

© 1993 Susan Lee 



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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 25 



QUEER CHOICES 

How Do I Look? Queer Film and Video 

Edited by Bad Object-Choices 

Seattle: Bay Press, 1991 ; 295 pp., $16.95 (paper) 

Aside from Vito Russo's entertaining and erudite 
The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Mov- 
ies, very little of gay and lesbian film theory and 
criticism has been published in book form. This is 
reason enough to celebrate the publication of How 
Do I Look'.' Queer Film and Video, a diverse set of 
essays edited by Bad Object-Choices, a reading 
group formed in 1987 to explore questions of gay 
and lesbian representation. The six essays were 
first presented at the How Do I Look? Queer Film 
and Video conference, held at the Anthology Film 
Archives in New York City in 1 989, to address the 
question of how gays and lesbians look at and in 
film and video. The conference consisted of a gay 
and lesbian film and video series, accompanied by 
the six papers and follow-up discussions, which 
are included in the book. 

Although these essays are dense and occasion- 
ally difficult reading, the authors never forget the 
context and community within which they write 
and, in turn, create an energy and an immediacy 
that permeate the book. For example, in his essay 
"The Contemporary Political Use of Gay History: 
The Third Reich," Stuart Marshall explores the 
use of the pink triangle as a political symbol by the 
gay and lesbian movements and AIDS activists. 
Against the backdrop of a very real epidemic, 
Marshall argues that this usage relies on a prob- 
lematic and troubling analogy between sexual 
identity and ethnic identity and then asks the 
question, "In what way are we a 'we'?" What 
makes us a community? 

In Kobena Mercer's thoughtful essay, "Skin 
Head Sex Thing: Racial Difference and the Homo- 
erotic Imaginary," Mercer reinterprets his earlier 
critique of the "racial fetishism" found in Robert 
Mapplethorpe's photographs of black male nudes 
by proposing a notion of ambivalence, "some- 
thing that is experienced across the relations be- 
tween authors, texts, and readers, relations that 
are always contingent, context-bound, and his- 
torically specific." One of the reasons Mercer 
gives for his re-vision of Mapplethorpe's images 
is the Far Right's 19X9 attack on the National 
Endowment for the Arts for funding an exhibition 
of Mapplethorpe's work. Against this background, 
Mercer reexamines his own shifting relationship 
to the Mapplethorpc nudes. Rather than seeing 



Mapplethorpe's images as objectifying the black 
male as Other, a repetition of racist fantasies, 
Mercer believes the images deconstruct cultural 
assumptions relating to the representation of race 
and sexuality. "In social, economic, and political 
terms, black men in the United States constitute 
one of the ' lowest' social classes: disenfranchised, 
disadvantaged, and disempowered," writes Mer- 
cer. "Yet in Mapplethorpe's photographs [these 
men] are elevated on to the pedestal of the tran- 
scendental Western Aesthetic ideal. Far from re- 
inforcing the fixed beliefs of the white suprema- 
cist imaginary, such a deconstructive move be- 
gins to undermine the foundational myth of the 
pedestal itself." 

In Cindy Patton's "Safe Sex and the Porno- 
graphic Vernacular" theories of a language of 
pornography are discussed within the context of 
the real need to educate and organize communi- 
ties toward safe sex practices. As Patton writes, 
"Theory and Practice could not be separated: 
Each argument about the nature of representation, 
the meaning of safe sex, and the modes through 
which community change might occur was con- 
ducted against a background of death witnessed 
and community destruction survived." 

This never forgotten context, of a community 
of people working to define themselves and create 
their own art forms in the midst of an epidemic, in 
spite of attempted censorship by the NEA and 
attacks by the religious far right, makes these 



essays essential reading for anyone concerned 
about the relationshipof image-making to gay and 
lesbian people. My only complaint about How Do 
1 Look? is the uneven quality of some of the 
writing. For while these writers have reinterpreted 
much of academic theory to suit their needs, they 
have not abandoned the stultifying tradition of 
stiff, unreadable prose. Perhaps they could learn 
from the late Vito Russo, to whom this book is 
dedicated, that brilliance, perceptiveness, and great 
scholarship do not have to be embalmed in dead- 
ening language. 

PAMELA SHEPERD 

Pamela Sheperd is a fiction writer and movie 
fanatic living in Taos, New Mexico. 

CULTURAL CROSSROADS 

Bridge of Light: 

Yiddish Film between Two Worlds 

by J. Hoberman 

New York: Schocken Books, 1991 ; 

401 pp.; $40 (cloth) 

"Grandpa, when I'm old, will I speak Yiddish like 
you?" goes the familiar joke. Actually, Yiddish is 
not just a language of the aged, nor is it dying off, 
as conventional wisdom has it. Ultra-Orthodox 
and Hasidic Jews continue to use Yiddish for 
everyday matters and to interpret religious texts. 




26 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



But there was a time when Yiddish — a fusion 
language combining Germanic, Hebrew, Slavic, 
and Romance elements — was cultivated by more 
than this small minority. Before WWII, many 
thousands of Yiddish speakers patronized a lively 
secular culture of newspapers, books, theater, 
music, and the movies. J. Hoberman's Bridge of 
Light: Yiddish Film between Two Worlds is more 
than a chronicle of Yiddish film history on both 
sides of the Atlantic; it situates Yiddish cinema in 
its artistic and political framework. 

The usual tone employed to describe Yiddish 
culture is elegaic and nostalgic, with sentiment 
often functioning as a screen for sloppy scholar- 
ship and unoriginal thought. I suspect that those 
who rely on this hype secretly believe that they 
can *t interest you without it. Hoberman, however, 
does not snow the reader with hyperbole or the 
teary magnification of a lost culture. He seems 
genuinely involved with his topic and doesn't 
appear to doubt its importance as history or art, 
and occasionally both at once, as in the case of The 
Dybbuk, a play by An-sky. later made into a film, 
which draws on An-sky's ethnographic study of 
shtetl folklore in the White-Russian and Ukranian 
countryside before WWI. Hoberman compares 
The Dybbuk to Joyce's Ulysses and Kafka's The 
Castle, among other modernist classics. An-sky, 
like Marc Chagall and Martin Buber, understood 
that the Hasidic tradition was a rich source of 
artistic and spiritual power, which would impress 
Jews and non-Jews, believers and doubters. 

Hoberman's commitment to his subject carries 
his readers through the complex relationships 
elaborated in Bridge of Light — of film to theater, 
popular culture to high art, communism to Zion- 
ism, unions to producers — for the small field of 
Yiddish film was located on one of the busiest 
intersections of the twentieth century. Socialism 
and nationalism won so many Jewish adherents in 
the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries that it 
is no small task to remember all the subgroups. 
(I've heard of a Trotskyist sect that ended up with 
only two members — and then they got a divorce.) 

What Hoberman has captured is the collision of 
aesthetic and political movements. That is why 
his book may well appeal to those who aren't 
automatically drawn to Jewish studies. In fact, I 
would recommend Bridge of Light to anyone 
concerned with media that attempt to speak to and 
for a specific community, since the issues he 
focuses on — like self-hatred and assimilation — 
are hardly confined to Jews alone. Many women 
and minorities will recognize the problem, which 
he repeatedly describes, of adopting negative ste- 
reotypes and caricatures in film. 

It is Hoberman's ability to contextualize these 



Isaac Julien s romantic evocation of gay love 
in Looking for Langstoms among the queer 
films addressed in How Do I Look? Queer Film 
and Video, a diverse set of essays exploring 
questionsofgayand lesbian representation. 

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THE INDEPENDENT 27 



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works — to place them in a dense sociology — that 
makes him not just a reviewer but a cultural 
historian. Hoberman situates New York City's 
Yiddish movie houses in relation to contempora- 
neous venues for films in German, Hungarian, 
Czech, Italian, Polish, and Spanish, as well as 
theaters that screened all-black features. He ele- 
gantly moves from his own perspective to the 
views of past commentators and back again — 
having culled obscure periodicals and memoirs 
for reactions to Yiddish films. Thus his study 
allows the reader to encounter a variety of voices 
and, as they argue, a complex image of an intense 
little world is formed. 

KAREN ROSENBERG 

Karen Rosenberg is a film and literary critic who 
often contributes to The Women's Review of 
Books. She has studied Yiddish in England and 
Israel. 



THE SECOND SEX AND 
CINEMA 

Women in Film: An International Guide 

Edited by Annette Kuhn with Susannah Radstone 
New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1990; 500 pp; 
$12.95 (paper) 

The idea of a film encyclopedia that focuses on 
women in various aspects of production, distribu- 
tion, and reception is a brilliant one. This is a book 
that can be consulted for information on a specific 
director, actress, or critic, and browsed for more 
general reflections on movements, genres, coun- 
tries, and theories. One outstanding feature of 
Women in Film: An International Guide is its 
willingness to treat cinema as a space where ideas 
interact. Entries aren't limited to portraits of per- 
sonalities, regions, and genres, but also include 
"isms" — consumerism, eroticism, modernism, 
structuralism. The book leads the reader to di- 
verse theorists, such as Roland Barlhes (under 
"Pleasure"), Louis Althusser ("Ideology"), and 
Erwin Panofsky ("Iconography"), whose remarks 
on culture arc relevant to film. I like this confi- 
dence in the intelligence and curiosity of the 
reader. Too often, popular discussion of the mov- 
ies are anti-intellectual in the extreme, as if the 
darkness of the movie theater had been declared a 
safe haven from critical thought. 

Women in Film also largely avoids the other 
common pitfall of cineastes: over-reliance on 
clubby jargon. This volume generally manages to 
straddle the gap between the journalistic and the 
academic. Although an acquaintance with film 
studies and feminism will help readers plumb the 
depths of the relatively short entries, much prior 
knowledge of these fields doesn't seem to be 
presumed, and key terms and names are usually 
explained or cross-referenced. 

Inclusive and ecumenical, Women in Film gives 
space to competing interpretations of women's 
roles. Nevertheless, an attentive reader will note 
that Laura Mulvcy's essay, "Visual Pleasure and 



28 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



HVf 



FOUNDATION FOR 
INDEPENDENT 
VIDEO AND 
FILM, INC. 



AIVF/FIVF Advancement Program Membership Survey 



FTVF (Foundation for Independent Video and Film) has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Advancement 
grant. The first year of this grant will be spent taking a hard look at the organization — where we are now, where we want 
to be in three years — and drafting a long range plan that will get us there. We need your help. This survey is designed to 
help us gather information about you, your attitudes toward ATVF I FTVF andyour ideas about the future direction ofAIVFI 
FTVF. Please help us by taking a few minutes to complete and return the sun'ey. Your input is vital in helping shape the 
organization you want for the future. Please return survey by February 15. 

ANF members complete sections I through III; lapsed mambers complete I through TV. 

I. Demographics: 

Are you a current member of AIVF? 

yes 

no 

How long have you been (or were you) a member of AIVF? 

1-2 years 

2-5 years 

5-10 years 

10-15 years 

over 15 years 



Age 



Sex 



under 20 

20-29 

30-39 

40-49 

50-59 

60-69 

70 or over 



M 



Ethnicity 

African American 

Asian American 

Caucasian 

Latino 

Native American 

Other (specify): 



Zipcode Country (if outside US) 

Annual income level 

Under $15,000 

$15,000-29,999 

$30,000-44,999 

$45,000-79,999 

$80,000-99,999 

$100,000 or above 



What percentage of your income is derived from media-related work? 

0-9% 

10-24% 

25-49% 

50-74% 

75-100% 

Affiliation: what area(s) of independent media are you involved in? 

filmmaker 

videomaker 

technician 

teacher 

student 

administrator: list type of org./business: 

other: 



Where did you learn your media skills? 

college/university 

media center 

public access center 

self-taught 

other: 



What other media organizations are you a member of? 

American Film Institute (AFI) 

Black Filmmakers Foundation (BFF) 

Independent Documentary Association (IDA) 

Independent Feature Project (IFP) (specify East, West, or regional):. 

National Alliance of Media Arts Centers (NAMAC) 

Women in Film 

local media arts center 

others ( please specify): 



In addition to this magazine, what other media publications do you regularly read? 

Variety 

Multichannel News 

Current 

Millimeter 

Videography 

Filmmaker (formerly Off Hollywood Report) 

Visions 

Premiere 

others (please specify): 



II. Your current use of AIVF/FIVF 

Why do you belong to AIVF? (check a total of 5 from the following three lists) 

programs 

The Independent 

festival/distribution services 

seminars 

information services 

book sales 



professional perks 

health/dental insurance 

production/equipment insurance 

professional service discounts 

other discounts (car rental, video rental, credit card plan) 

relation to mediamakers & the field 

advocacy 

sense of community 

networking 

other (specify): 



Which of the programs and services listed above would you like to see expanded? Which are least essential? 

expanded: 

least essential: 



III. AIVF/FIVF Three Years in the Future: 

If AIVF/FIVF were to design new programs, what would be most useful to you? Check your 5 top priorities: 

regional affiliate chapters 

regional media activity spotlighted in The Independent 

local activities (coffee claches, screenings, special interest groups) 

FIVF seminars travelling to your region 

showcases of regional work in NYC for industry viewing 

membership directory 

national job bank 

mentor program 

national conferences 

equipment trade shows 

increased involvement in new technologies 

Optional: add a 6th choice, if idea is not listed above: 



Money aside, what could AIVF/FIVF provide that would most help you in your work?_ 



IV. Please complete only if you are no longer a member of AIVF: 

I did not renew my membership in AIVF because I: 

Left the independent media field 

Did not use AIVF's programs/services 

Can no longer afford the membership dues . 

Joined another media organization 

Other (specify): 



Answer only if you indicated above that you have left the independent media field, but are still involved in 
media in some way. What service or program could AIVF provide that would be valuable to you? 



Please return survey by February 15, 1993 



fold here and staple 




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Narrative Cinema," provides the ideational frame- 
work for many of the essays. (I only wish the 
authors and editors had listed a source for it other 
than a 1975 issue of Screen magazine, which is 
slightly less rare than hen's teeth in the U.S.) 
Additional sources of information are generally 
listed at the end of an entry. Such bibliographies 
and filmographies are not as long and rich as I 
would have liked, but their brevity may have been 
necessary in order to hold down the length of the 
book, and with it the price. 

Don't be misled by the rather conventional 
cover. You can expect eccentric entries like 
"Swordplay," "Women's Revenge," and "Phallic 
Woman" in this encyclopedia. Lesbian and non- 
white perspectives are included in so many ar- 
ticles that they were obviously an integral part of 
the plan, not an afterthought. Hollywood gets a 
fair amount of attention, in part because of the 
recent tendency to find ambivalence and even 
subversive tendencies in dominant cinema. (I'm 
not as convinced as some theorists that "woman- 
liness" is a masquerade that can be dropped at will 
and suspect this peacemaking with traditional 
notions of femininity may reflect the conserva- 
tism of the eighties.) Yet independents don't re- 
ceive the short end of the stick, and it seems that 
most authors chose subjects they could write 
about with enthusiasm as well as authority. 

Film and feminism develop rapidly, and this 
encyclopedia may soon need updating. But for the 
time being it provides an intelligent, sophisti- 
cated, and readable introduction to many aspects 
of women in film. 

KAREN ROSENBERG 




From Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking 
Susan. 

Courtesy filmmaker 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 




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FILM ENTRY DEADLINE: 

FEBRUARY 15, 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 29 




S1BE TOE CLINTON CAMPAIGN 

WAR ROOM 

WITH CHRIS HEGEMJS ANB I>.A. PENNEISAKEU 




BY PATRICIA THOMSON 



1 wo weeks before the 1992 Democratic convention, film partners! spouses 
D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus were approached by Wendy Ettinger, 
a casting director, and RJ. Cutler, a theater director and now film student 
at UCLA, to create a film on the presidential election. Ettinger and Cutler 
had seen and admired Pennebaker' s earlier work on the political process: 
Primary (I960), the ground-breaking verite film on the Wisconsin primary 
contest between Hubert Humphrey and the still-obscure Senator John 
Kennedy, and Crisis (1963), in which the filmmakers had unparalleled 
access to JFK and Attorney General Robert Kennedy during the tense 
showdown with Governor George Wallace over the desegregation of the 
University of Alabama. 

Cutler and Ettinger managed to finesse press passes to the convention on 
short notice. With that, the project was on, with Cutler and Ettinger 
producing, and Hegedus and Pennebaker forming the core camera team, 
supplemented by Judy Carp, Nick Doob, and David Dawkins at the 
convention, backstage during the debates, and outside the Governor's 
Mansion in Little Rock on election night. 

Initially the filmmakers considered tracking all the candidates. But by the 
end of the convention their focus became dear: the Clinton campaign, as 
seen from inside its ner\-e center. Specifically, they honed in on two key 



players: James Carville, Clinton's chief political strategist, and the 31- 
year-old communications director, George Stephanopoulos. Their center 
of operation, and the site of Clinton's much-vaunted "quick response" 
team, was "the war room." Thus was born The War Room, now in 
postproduction. 

* "The economy, stupid" 

Independent: How was the Clinton campaign's war room different from 
any other campaign headquarters? 

Chris Hegedus: It seems that James Carville really created the war room 
idea, although war rooms have existed at conventions. But extending the 
war room idea throughout the whole campaign was something that Carville 
decided to do. 

The way the war room functioned — this huge room with Carville at a 
large table in the middle surrounded by desks — was really very extraordi- 
nary. The type of access that people could get to James Carville and George 
Stephanopoulos was very unusual in a campaign. Normally those people 
have to go through appointments, if you're a low-down staffer and have 
some kind of idea. But in their campaign, it functioned the opposite. They 
wanted everybody's input. 

James said in reflection about the room that a lot of campaigns function 
as administrations where you throw in a little creativity. They functioned as 
a creative unit and had administration just to keep it manageable. Also, 



30 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



James Carville, mastermind behind 
the war room and Clinton's chief 
campaign strategist, wearing his 
lucky gloves during the final stretch. 

Photo: Wendy Ettinger 



•*••••*•••**•••••••*•••*•••*•••••••••**•**••••••*•*•••*•••*••••*•••*••••••••••* 



James would always say things like, how would he be able to tell his 
message to 250-million voters if he can't even explain his ideas to 250 
staffers? That was the approach of that campaign, and that room was 
unusual for campaigns. 

There's another room called the boiler room that's right below it. That 
was where the computers were hooked up to all the places across the United 
States and the multitude of armies. It would connect with the polls and that 
type of information. 

Independent: What goes on in the war room? 

D.A. Pennebaker: The people in there are the quick response team. And 
those people are taking extraordinary risks. They're sitting in a room, 
watching Bush's speech on TV. There are three TV sets in there, all tuned 
to different stations. Bush will say something, and a guy has to think what 
the answer is. Fifty people are all around him. He'll get two or one to go out 
and research it and find out the last eight times Bush said that. In other words, 
they're fabricating Clinton's remarks before Clinton even hears him. 

Every night they have a 6:30 meeting. Some guy comes in and reads them 
the news, which they've seen variously through the day. Then they'll have 
various people report. One person is reporting on Hillary, and another is 
reporting on what's happening out on the campaign bus. 

Hegedus: It's a very strange, obtuse thing. All they do is react to everything 
that goes on in the world, basically. From whatever happened, they decide 
a strategy and vocalize an opinion that can be encapsulated into some kind 
of slogan — like the change thing, or the economy. They just try to find the 
issues and talk around them as much as they can. 

Independent: It sounds very reactive. Did they have an underlying 
masterplan or a three-point or five-point strategy that gave cohesion to all 
the quick responses they needed to make on a day-to-day basis? Or was it 
completely by the seat of their pants? 

Hegedus: Certainly they had a plan, with issues like health care. But a lot 
of it was by the seat of their pants. As they went along, they found certain 
things that would work, and [those things] became the slogans you read 
about. Like "The economy, stupid," which was always something that was 
scribbled on the blackboard in the room. They were like the daily mottos on 
the blackboard. Change was another one. When they hooked onto that, that 
became the next battle cry. So I think they just picked these large, very 
important issues out, and those were parts of their plan. I don't think they 
thought them up three months ago. 

I could see them thinking up the change one, which Jerry Brown was 
using also at the convention. But since he was not going to be following the 
process much longer, they took it on as their own. And we were filming with 
them when they were developing that: "This is really working, this idea is 
getting people to look at us." And they started using it more and more. 

Independent: How did you get into the war room? Who did Wendy Ettinger 
and R.J. Cutler have to convince? 

Hegedus: George Stephanopoulos. He's in charge of whatever strategy 
happens with publicity, communications, within the whole campaign. He 
was the final decisionmaker. We didn't even really know who James 
Carville was at that point. We were totally blind; we didn't know what faces 



went to what names. George was the deciding factor. But we weren't asking 
him to do what we ended up doing. We were asking him for a lot more in 
the beginning. We were asking to make a film about Clinton. He said no. 

Independent: So Stephanopoulos redirected your focus to Carville? 

Hegedus: No, we asked him if we could film with Carville, because in the 
convention we realized that Carville was an important spokesperson for the 
campaign. And we realized we were not going to have access to Bill Clinton. 

Independent: Why not? 

Hegedus: It was decided early on with George that we couldn't have access 
to him. There was a guy writing a book about Clinton, who'd been with him 
since New Hampshire. And there's a Time photographer who's been with 
him the whole time. And he just felt it was very stressful. At that point, 
Stephanopoulos felt he couldn't ask him; he just couldn't do it. And so we 
changed a lot of the focus of our film to Carville and behind the scenes. 
Which was fine, because there's a real story there. 

Independent: What is the story, as you see it? 

Hegedus: It's about people trying to do something that's very important to 
them, which is elect this man President, and watching them go through a 
major ordeal and be successful. And do something that I don't think any of 
them thought they were going to be able to do, because there were so many 
problems with Clinton in the beginning: Gennifer Flowers, the draft issue 
all along. I think it was a total shock to all of them that they really did it. 
That's the story we have so far — watching these people do it. 

Pennebaker: I think [the shift from Clinton to Clinton's advisors] is a better 
film. But we didn't know that going in. So in a way, we were kind of lead 
from where we thought we were going to where things were interesting. 

We had a mike usually on Carville, because they'd go off into a little 
huddle. We didn't put one on George, because he was going back into a 
room where there were people who weren't sympathetic at all [to our film 
project]. So it came to me after a while that what we were making, whether 
we wanted to or not, was a film in the war room. Instead of trying to get all 
the access you could, you just said, "I'll make one where there's the least 
access. I'll find the center of the place and see only what happens there." 

You see people in various stages of exhilaration or depression as things 
go up and down. There may be 50 people in this room. In the middle is a big, 
long table that Carville stands by. And George is in there every five minutes, 
and the two of them are saying, "What do we do about this?" 

What interests me is seeing the response of these two people. They're 
guiding the campaign like generals guide a war: every day you get a phone 
call saying, "They just bombed out the third fleet." So you've got to figure 
out where to get another fleet. You're working totally off the cuff all the 
time. And that's why you meet people who have that kind of ability and not 
people who say, "Now here's a masterful campaign strategy," because there 
is no such thing. 

Independent: Were there limitations placed on what you could record? 

Pennebaker: No, no. 

Hegedus: The limitations were access. And we didn't have unlimited 
access. 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 31 



George Stephanopoulos (left) and James 
Carville contemplate their next move. 

Photo: © 1 992 David Burnett, courtesy Contact Press Images 



******* 



**************************************************************************** 



Independent: What didn't you have access to? 

Hegedus: We didn't have access to Clinton, basically. 

Pennebaker: If Clinton came into the room, we could film him. But we 
couldn't go in and get time with him. That's reserved for High Press. 

Hegedus: If we had wanted to ask for time to interview him, we could 
probably have done that. But that's not really what we were interested in. 
We're hoping that, because the end of our story with George and James will 
end up being with Governor Clinton, that he'll be a part of our film in another 
way than he has been. The way we ' ve looked at him has been a little bit more 
than the press has, with the exception of the debates; we filmed backstage 
with him. 

* Pack journalism 

Independent: Were you the only press given access to the war room? 

Pennebaker: Nobody else is ever allowed in the war room. 

Hegedus: We were barely allowed. 

Pennebaker: Somebody said they were doing a show for Little Rock TV.... 

Hegedus: No, it was for CNN. They were touring the Clinton-Gore 
headquarters, and they wanted to go in the war room. And they ask, "What's 
so special about the war room?" George says, "It's special because you're 
not allowed there." 

Independent: Did you, as documentarians, have difficulty distinguishing 
yourselves from the regular press in how the campaign staff received you? 

Pennebaker: You don't do the same thing they do. For example: they have 
these human walls with cameras that go up 10 feet in the air and are maybe 
20- or 30-feet long. It's like they're made of some kind of compressed 
material of people with cameras. And they all have identical cameras — all 
Japanese — and identical mike booms, with little furry mops on the end. It's 
like watching a medieval battle, seeing these people running around with 
these gigantic booms, chasing each other. You realize you're watching 
maybe SI 00,000 or $200,000 invested so all the world can watch Clinton 
walk out of a door. That's all they do. 

I'm standing in front of them. George and Carville are there. Perot has just 
decided to come back in, or he's made some speech. They're doing these 
wonderful imitations of Perot. They 're getting off on it, and they're giggling 
away and whispering little things into each other's ears — which we can get, 
because we have them wired with mikes. So I'm filming them, and every 
once in a while I look at this wall, and the wall is looking straight ahead, like 
it isn't happening. Because nobody's come out of the door. That's what their 
job is — getting Clinton coming out of the door. Then it all gets put to tape, 
and goes out into the world, and everybody sees Clinton that day coming 
through a door. 

So this is what the press sees itself as doing. When I tell this to George, 
and I'm kind of laughing about it, he says, "Well, I'm glad that's all they're 
doing. Because if they were doing what you're doing, it would be impos- 
sible. We couldn't operate." 



* The players 

Independent: How did the job responsibilities of Carville and Stephan- 
opoulos divide up? 

Hegedus: George is like the Marlin Fitzwater of the campaign. I le actually 
gets out there and is the political spokesperson for Clinton when a message 
coming from Bill's mouth through George's has to go out to the world. He's 
official in that way. James is like the unauthorized biography. He can say 
whatever he wants to say — be slanderous or whatever. And he won't get 
criticism, because he's not the official mouth of Bill Clinton. 

Together, they definitely were an amazing force in mounting a type of 
personal energy center that made that campaign really work. 

Independent: Where would Clinton come into play in framing the agenda 
and strategies of the campaign? 

Hegedus: Clinton never comes physically into play. He's always a person 
on the telephone. He's flying somewhere every day of his campaign, 
practically. They talked to him on the phone, and would tell him their 
opinions. Paul [Begala, Carville's partner,] and James talk on the phone all 
the time. 

Independent: So Begala was not in Little Rock? 

Hegedus: He's on the plane all the time with Clinton, and James is mounting 
this kind of energy center. 

Independent: How about people like campaign manager Mickey Kantor, 
media advisor Mandy Grunwald, and pollster Stan Greenberg? Did you get 
to these people? Were they willing to be on film? 

Hegedus: We filmed all of them during the convention. In terms of access 
afterwards, George was very afraid we would disrupt the work of other 
people. He wanted us just to focus on James, which we did. But then 
everyone has to come talk to James. So you get all the people that way. For 
a long time, we didn't really wander over to Stan's desk, which was really 
just over there in the corner. Later we went and filmed him. But anything that 
he had to say, he'd come and report to James. So you get the most important 
things anyway just by sticking with James and doing what George had 
asked. 

Same with George. George would come running in, and together they'd 
deal with whatever looming crisis they had. During the last part, we filmed 
with everybody in George's office, whatever we wanted. But we did respect 
[the restrictions] for a while, because we wanted the access. 

Mandy Grunwald in the beginning was not particularly fond of us, 
because she had her own communications/commercial realm of filmmaking 
that she was involved with. We didn't really have anything to offer her. Our 
program wasn't going to come out until after the election, and it did the 
candidate no good. It only seemed like we were a pain being there. So she 
was not very supportive. 

Independent: Was she obstructive? Or was anybody? 

Hegedus: I'm sure she was vocal. She was vocal to our face that she wasn't 
very pleased we were there. But in the end she was very friendly and very 
nice to us. So I think after a while people start being able to see things in 



32 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



f 1 

I j 





terms of history, and not just the particular moment, and realize that we 
weren't really there to make some kind of backstabbing. foolish portrayal 
of them. 

Mickey Kantor was very helpful to us in the war room at the conven- 
tion — to a certain point. And then he got so worried when Perot dropped out 
of the race that he had a minor freak-out, and we were dismissed from the 
convention war room. 

"Ar The Primary legacy 

Independent: How would you compare the campaign process nowadays to 
that in 1 960, during the Kennedy-Humphrey primary? How has it changed? 

Pennebaker: Well, it hasn't changed fundamentally. They're all trying to 
do some kind of personality job on the local people — the crowds of people 
and the local politicians they depend on to keep the thing moving. They have 
to show they're kind of matinee idols, so there's that need constantly to be 
performing in some way, but it's such a strange performance. And that has 
hardly changed at all. For instance, there's the need to be seen going into a 
church. It doesn ' t matter — you can go in and piss on the floor — but you have 
to be seen going into the church. You have to be seen doing a number of 
things, because it's required that you reach all of this very broad electorate. 
So the amount of real reality that's allowed is very small. And I think it was 
the same with Kennedy. 

Independent: I want to read you a quote that Richard Leacock said about 



Primary, which he, Robert Drew, Al Maysles, and Terrence McCartney 
Filgate worked on with you. "Primary in no way achieved what I, at least, 
wanted to achieve. I wanted to see the political process at work, and we saw 
only the public aspects of the problem. There was no chance of our being 
privy to the real discussions that took place with the statisticians, with the 
public relations people, which is where modern politics operates. No one 
has ever got that on film or, with our present system, ever will. There 's much 
more chance of getting someone fucking on film than of getting politicians 
being honest." 

It seems that what you're attempting to capture now with The War Room 
isprecisely what Leacock said you missed in Primary: you're following the 
campaign managers around, who presumably are among the key people 
holding the "real discussions." 

Pennebaker: I doubt, though, that we're getting to very high level discus- 
sions. But you don't know. I think that far less is determined by privileged 
and reasonable discussions than is determined by luck, chance, and who 
happens to be someplace when a reporter with an open mike says, "What do 
you think?" 

Our problem is to be there with people who like and trust us, over a long 
enough range of time, so that they'll bring to the film — which they will — 
whatever it is that they think the film should know. 

Hegedus: We did a film on the political process 12 years ago, a five-hour 
series called The Energy War. [Ed. note: This three-part series, which aired 
on PBS, chronicles one of the longest legislative battles ever — the 1 8-month 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 33 




Bill and Hillary in North Carolina 
on the Clintons' final bus tour. 

Photo: Chris Hegedus 



struggle over President Carter's 1 977 National Energy Plan. The verite film 
traces the volatile course of the energy bill as it moves through Congress, 
being shaped, filibustered, influenced, and retooled by senators, aides, 
lobbyists, the President, and James Schlesinger in the then-newly created 
Cabinet post of Secretary of Energy.] 

Independent: I found that series fascinating, because, more than any film 
I've seen, it gets at what Leacock was talking about, which is the real process 
of how government works. 

Hegedus: This does, too. Because it shows the decisions on a campaign — 
whatever you think of as the high level positions; maybe you think only 
dealing with the finances is high level — but we are watching the strategies 
getting shaped. That is half of the focus of the campaign. I think that we're 
watching a lot of it happen. It looks very informal. 

• "The old boy net" 

Pennebaker: The last segment of The Energy War is so interesting, because 
it's all Schlesinger. And it shows the way it really gets done, where he turns 
to us — we're in his office — and he says, "This is the old boy net." He's got 
all these Republican friends, he's wringing their arms to make them vote for 
Carter's bill. This is the only way they got the bill through. In the end, I think 
that [Senator Russel 1 ] Long told us, "Carter is not going to get a second term, 
and he's never going to know why. But we know why. It's because of this 
energy bill." 

In the beginning Schlesinger didn't want us there at all. We sent him 
Crisis, then went to Washington and were told maybe he'd see us. We went 
over to the office and were told, "No, he's too busy." So we went out to a 
movie. Suddenly in the middle of the movie, this voice on the loudspeaker 
says, "Mr. Pennebaker, the White House would like you to come." I jumped 
out of my scat! We went over there and sat down in his office. When he came 
out he said, "You're Pennebaker, huh? Well, I know who you people are: 
you're snoops. I don't want you around." 

So we were a little depressed. But we kept shooting. We would have to 
sneak around and hide behind the furniture. In those days you couldn't get 
into the Senate. But we had some friends who would let us sit in their office. 
They had TV sets, so we could watch the House votes and shoot off the TV 



• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••■it 



screen. So little by little, more of these guys — Senator DeConcini and 
people — would come to us and tell us something, or tell us when something 
was going to happen. 

Finally, we chase Schlesinger out to Los Angeles to a big meeting. I 
filmed him making a speech. Then afterwards we got in the elevator, and he 
came in and said, "You guys don't give up, do you?" Then he said, "Okay, 
I'll tell you what. Come down to the house." And he had this wonderful little 
house. It was like anybody's house out in Scarsdale, or wherever, bikes all 
over the lawn, the place looked like hell. And you thought, "This is a real 
person living here." He used to take us in his limousine out to the office and 
tell us what was going on. He became such a friend that, in the very end, he 
took us into the Senate cloakroom so we could record off the PA system, 
where no press was ever allowed, so we could get the final vote. He decided. 
I never asked him why. But I know that, like Kennedy, he suddenly 
perceived that what we were getting was something that nobody else would 
ever bother to do. And it intrigued him. So by the end of the film, when we 
were sitting in his office and he was making all these calls, he turns to Chris 
and says, "the old boy net" right on the film. And there he is, calling these 
people one by one, and that's how the vote got through. So you can see, 
Carter never knew how he got that vote. And in a way, Schlesinger was 
finding a way to tell us how it worked. That really fascinated me. The good 
guys will always do that. That's what history means to them — to understand 
how it works. Because most people haven't a clue. 

Independent: So what are the motives of Stephanopoulos and Carville? 

Hegedus: I don't know. It always surprises me. I never understand why 
people let us film them, because I hate to be filmed so much. But people do 
see some reason for showing this, for people to see this process. And 
George, I was really touched, said the nicest thing to me on the day of the 
election, which was that he was so happy we had not given up and had 
continued to make this film, even though he wasn't being very helpful to us 
along the way. He was helpful to a point, but he was scared. His job was on 
the line. It's a lot of responsibility. We weren't really necessary to the 
process. 

Pennebaker: By [the end of the convention], everybody had made choices 
about us that mattered. You could feel the sides forming. George, Carville, 
and maybe a half-dozen other people really helped us. That's what always 
happens. It's a way of leaking; it's like in Washington. It isn't that they like 
us so much; we're a way of getting some kind of information out that they 
think isn't getting out. 

They also had an interest in the historical aspects of it. I think George 
does. They understand what we mean by history, and we don't mean history 
in the traditional sense, maybe. But they start to see what interests us, and 
they think, "That will be interesting, too, 10 years from now." And for them 
that's history: to be able to see what they're doing, from some kind of 
distance, some kind of outside position. 

And there's nobody else doing that. What's going on the news — people 
walking out doors — is not really history. 

This article combines two interviews, conducted on October 28 and November 9, 
1992, at the New York offices of Pennebaker Associates, Inc. Background research 
provided by Larry Jaffee. 



34 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



Independents 
Lose Out on 
Election Coverage 

There's no doubt about it: television played a more central role than ever in 
this year's presidential election. From Bill Clinton's bus ride through the 
heartland to Ross Perot's incessant infomercials. the cameras captured 
every inch of terrain along the rocky campaign trail. 

Nineteen ninety-two could have been a banner year for independent 
producers covering the election as well, according to Alvin H. Perlmutter, 
an independent producer whose two Voices of the Electorate specials aired 
on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). One philanthropic organization, 
the Markle Foundation, planned to hand PBS $5-million for election 
coverage, much of which would have been earmarked for independent 
productions. But PBS and Markle had a falling out, and the deal was 
cancelled. Subsequently, the several independents fortunate enough to have 
their programs aired found themselves grappling with censorship issues. 

Because 1988's election coverage was even more lackluster than its 
candidates, Perlmutter had devoted two years following the race to conduct- 
ing a major feasibility study for the Markle Foundation. The study ad- 
dressed public television's potential role in enhancing the quality of 
discourse about candidates in 1992 and invited recommendations from 
independent producers as well as media advisors, political insiders, and 
academics. Titled The Voter's Channel, Perlmutter's final report made 
several suggestions, which included offering relatively unfettered airtime to 
candidates and parties, involving Americans in a dialogue with the candi- 
dates, and launching an extensive promotional campaign to highlight the 
role of public broadcasting in the election process. 

Markle put its money where its recommendations were by offering PBS 
$5-million to carry out the project. PBS committed $3-million. Although 
Lloyd N. Morrisett, president of the Markle Foundation, estimated that $ 1 2- 
to $16-million was necessary, he was confident he could recruit funders to 
make up the difference. 

In June 1991 , however, a disgruntled Morrisett sent a letter to 1 00 people 
involved with the project announcing the foundation's decision to split from 
PBS. The letter cited PBS 's unwillingness to fully commit to the project and 
the fact there was no agreed-upon program plan as two reasons for the split. 
Ultimately, the foundation entered into a $3.5-million contract with Cable 
News Network and, due to time constraints, The Voters' Channel project 
was more or less scrapped. 

The announcement was a severe blow for independents, Perlmutter says, 
because "part of the plan entailed enlisting the services of independent 
producers and stations. I received more than 1 00 proposals and had intended 
to commission several of them." 

Instead, independent producers, including Perlmutter, were on their own. 
He chose to focus on minority voters and, as director of the Independent 
Production Fund, organized town meetings for Blacks and Latinos in 10 
U.S. cities. The meetings resulted in two one-hour Voices of the Electorate 
specials, which combined footage from the meetings with documentary 
footage and provided time for the Presidential candidates to respond. 
Perlmutter says although the specials aired on PBS, the $l-million project 
was funded primarily by the Carnegie and MacArthur Foundations. 

Arnie Labaton, executive director of PBS's Election '92, says the 
programs that received joint funding from the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting and PBS were three election-related episodes of The '90s 
series, Bill Moyers' Listening to America (which received a challenge 
grant), America* s Political Parties: Power and Principle, a two-part special 
produced by Manifold Productions, and Power, Politics & Latinos, pro- 
duced by the National Latino Communications Center in Los Angeles. In 
other instances, he adds, money was given to producing stations and later 
dispersed to independents, as was the case with WETA-TV's Why Bother 
Voting? special, produced by Karen Katz. 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 




Bob Hercules (right), a Chicago-based videographer, produced a 
segment on the Republican Convention for The 90 f s series, which 
included several heated exchanges between San Francisco street 
perfomier-turned-reporter Stony Burke (left) and Republican delegates. 

Photo: Bill Stamets, courtesy Bob Hercules 

Perlmutter says PBS gave no specific reason for not funding Voices of the 
Electorate, the last vestiges of his proposal to the Markle Foundation, but 
when it came time for the specials to air, PBS was quick to play surgeon to 
an unwilling patient. Three days prior to the first special's September 
airdate. PBS programming executives ordered speeches by Democratic 
candidate Bill Clinton cut out of both specials because they were deemed 
"inappropriate" without a similar message from President Bush, who had 
refused the offer to supply a speech. Given the option of axing Clinton's 
response or having the special pulled, Perlmutter was forced to comply with 
PBS's requests. "I decided my obligation to the minority groups was too 
strong," he says. 

Voices of the Electorate was not the only PBS special to get the knife days 
before it aired. Bob Hercules, a Chicago-based videographer, produced a 
segment on the Republican Convention for The 90' s series, which included 
several heated exchanges between San Francisco street performer-turned- 
reporter Stony Burke and Republican officials. Claiming the program, 
which also featured subdued footage from the Democratic Convention that 
was not shot by Hercules, was unbalanced, executives at Chicago public 
T. V. station WTTW called a meeting with series producers Joel Cohen and 
Tom Weinberg. Faced with an ultimatum similar to Perlmutter's, the pro- 
ducers agreed to snipping three segments that particularly troubled the 
presenting station: Burke facing off with New York Senator Alphonse 
D'Amato, Oliver North, and the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development's Jack Kemp. Just how heated were the exchanges? During 
the sparring match between Burke and D'Amato, Burke called the senator 
"a high-pricedjx>litician who perpetuates the system" and D'Amato, in 
turn, labeled the reporter "a jackass." Burke was no kinder when he asked 
North if he was "a born-again Christian" because he "felt bad about 1 0,000 
dead Nicaraguans from the CIA war" that he led. 

Had they not made the cuts, WTTW would have taken its credits off the 
program and it would not have been fed it to the PBS satellite for national 
broadcast. Copies of the revised show went to critics with a note saying to 
disregard the previous version. 

"This is not an issue of censorship," WTTW's Bruce Marcus, senior vice 
president for corporate marketing and communications, told the press. But 
Hercules disagrees. "I have never encountered such a blatant act of censor- 
ship," he says. Both Hercules and Perlmutter say that "balance" is no 
justification for censorship, and although the 1992 campaign is history, 
film- and videomakers should be aware that the battle to preserve uncut 
versions of their work is far from over. 

MICHELE SHAPIRO 
THE INDEPENDENT 35 





Do 



Environmental FiLiru Help the Environment? 
Some That Have 



Here Are 



i 







KAREN HIRSH 



iHERE MAY BE NO ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK ON U.S. TELEVISION, BUT 
there is a network of environmentalists making extraordinary television, 
video, and film. This kind of media isn't trying to sell you anything other 
than a voice in the debate about the future of the planet. It is produced for 
the express purpose of getting you off the sofa and into the political process 
by clamoring for a cleaner planet. And it is working. 

Sometimes when well-funded and well-organized activist-producers 
document environmental destruction for the first time, the documentation 
stops ihe problem. The international environmental organization Greenpeace, 
for instance, has achieved a good deal of notoriety and success over the past 
20 years sending camera crews around the globe — into the middle of the 
ocean filming whale hunts, to the bottom of the world documenting 
pollution in Antarctica, and underneath the sea capturing the murderous 
impact of driflncts. The power of these images has been essential in moving 
the public to call for an end to commercial whaling, international protection 
for Antarctica, and a U.N. ban on driftnet fishing. 

Today, with the accessibility and low cost of camcorders, anyone 
anywhere can be a camcorder vigilante for the environment. All one needs 
is information, patience, chutzpah, and a commitment to getting the word 
out by every means necessary for as long as it takes. The same dedication 
to the mighty strength of the visual that Greenpeace used to save the whales 
is now being used by concerned citizens to shut down local polluters in 
towns across America. But the impact of environmental films and videos is 



manifest not only when a plant closes or a fisherman brings in his net. 
Environmental films and videos have a more subtle and no less powerful 
effect when they inspire people to join the fight. 

The following portraits of impassioned activist-producers demonstrate 
the vast potential for independent film and video to galvanize public opinion 
on the environment. A common thread unites this diverse group — which 
ranges from citizens shooting wobbly VHS footage to award-winning 
filmmakers. Each discovered film or video out of a burning desire to speak 
on behalf of the planet. They raised their voices and learned filmmaking 
along the way. The success of their films speaks to the strength of their 
instincts and the potential for independent video- and filmmaking to be one 
of the most valuable tools of the environmental movement. 

* Solo vigilante** 

Brenda LiveOak, a computer technician by day and environmental activist 
by night, did not mean to shut down a Minnesota coke plant with her 
camcorder. She only wanted the 25-year-old company to stop spewing 
thick, black smoke into the sky. Trained through an EPA-sponsored course 
on air quality monitoring, she knew without question that the harmful 
smoke from the plant directly across the street from a predominantly 
African American neighborhood had violated air quality standards for 
years. When state environmental officials ignored her complaints, LiveOak 
decided to put her camera to work. She invited Alex Sagady, an environ- 
mental health expert with the American Lung Association, to help her make 
a videotape of the spewing plant. "I wanted to do this video and I knew how 
I wanted to do it," says LiveOak. "By bringing in a large group like that, I 
knew the video would gain credibility." LiveOak and Sagady met at the 



36 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



Courtesy Greenpeace 



plant and got the necessary video, despite harassment by plant officials who 
put their hands in front of her lens and tried to chase them from the plant. 

LiveOak knew exactly what she needed to make her case: 30 minutes of 
solid evidence, according to state law. She also knew what to do with the 
tape. She rigged up two VCRs in her living room, made 1 8 dubs, and mailed 
them to every member of the Michigan Air Pollution Commission. Upon 
viewing the tape, the commission found the evidence of the plant's air 
quality violations to be irrefutable. They ordered the facility to obtain proper 
pollution control equipment. When the company said it could not afford to 
comply with the law, they closed the aging plant. 

Other grassroots environmental activists have discovered that when it 
comes to publicizing environmental destruction, the American media 
machine can be successfully exploited. Terry Moore is one such activist. 
This Indiana woman broke the story of refrigerated trucks from the East 
Coast carrying garbage to Midwest landfills, then returning with food bound 
for East Coast supermarkets. Her video appeared on ABC Nightly News, 
Donahue, the MacNeillLehrer NewsHour, and numerous local broadcasts. 
Her story also appeared in Bearing Witness: Homemade Tapes from the 
Environmental Front, a half-hour program about video activists for the 
environment, cablecast on access channels through Deep Dish Television. 
In Bearing Witness Moore speaks about the important role of video in her 
publicity campaign: "In dealing with the news media, just a small amount 
of footage can say a lot. Without the video, I don't think our message would 
have gotten out." 

But while a few seconds of video brought Moore fame and grabbed the 
attention of the public, her tape played a more important utilitarian role in 
her fight at the state capitol. Though the public was disgusted by the image 
of garbage-stained trucks hauling food, Moore's real goal was to prevent 
East Coast states — too crowded and polluted to build more landfills — from 
dumping on their Midwest neighbors. Moore and the Dump Patrol, a group 
of 75 concerned citizens (in a town of just 250 people) documented on video 
and in print every out-of-state truck entering their local landfill for 60 hours 
per week for 14 months. After years of lobbying with their video evidence, 
Moore and the Dump Patrol convinced state officials to pass legislation 
regulating out-of-state waste. The impact of their tape proves the power of 
video to persuade — whether it is used behind the scenes with the state 
legislature or presented publicly in the glare and glitter of a syndicated talk 
show. 

* The profej<tor<f ' cottage industry 

The unlikely match of incinerator battles and videotape is the raw materials 
for a cottage industry of sorts created by two New England university 
instructors. On Thanksgiving weekend in 1985, Dr. Paul Connett, a profes- 
sor of chemistry at St. Lawrence University, asked Roger Bailey, an 
instructor in drawing and printmaking, to drive across New England and 
videotape a big pile of incinerator ash. Although both men were veterans of 
an incinerator battle in their hometown, neither knew anything about video. 
But they believed the story of this polluting ash landfill had to be told. They 
drove for hours, slept on the floor of local activists' homes, and the next 
morning taped interviews with concerned citizens and shot shaky footage 
of contaminated water from the toxic landfill running into a nearby stream. 




Terry Moore's video broke the story on the national networks of 
refrigerated trucks from the East Coast carrying garbage to Midwest 
landfills, then returning with food bound for East Coast supermarkets. 

Courtesy videomaker 



That weekend begot a production company, Video Active Productions. 
Seven years later, the company is vital and is funded solely by revenue from 
sales of the 31 titles produced since 1985. With these videos, Paul Connett 
and Roger Bailey have arguably provided more information to grassroots 
environmental groups about the issue of waste disposal than any organiza- 
tion in the world. 

Their tapes, entitled the Works on Waste series (edited in and distributed 
from Bailey's attic) are a genre unto themselves. Each features Connett on- 
camera putting into plain English detailed technical information about 
waste disposal, mixing it with on-screen reporting at the sites of the world's 
best and worst waste facilities, and adding a good dose of stand-up comedy 
in his thick British accent. 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 37 




Their unconventional style is not well reflected in the inauspicious and 
bland titles of the tapes: Two Views of Hazardous Waste Incineration from 
Biebesheim, Germany; Warren County' s Incinerator: The Wrong Model 
for New Jersey; and Millie Zantow: Recycling Pioneer. These tapes are not 
intended for popular consumption at the video store. Rather, they are a 
critique of the wasteful ways of today's consumers. In Waste Management 
as if the Future Mattered, Connett, gesticulating dramatically, holds up a 
disposable razor and says: "I remember watching a half-naked woman on 
TV sitting on the hood of a Mercedes Benz and thinking, 'If I bought this 
I'd get her, the car, and a trip to Bermuda.' I didn't believe this, except my 
subconscious did. And the next time I was in the supermarket, I heard the 
waves splashing in my brain and I reached for the plastic razors. Maybe it's 
not a trash crisis after all. Maybe it's a sexual crisis. Maybe we have to keep 
buying these things and throwing them away because it gives us some kind 
of sexual orgasm or something." 

It's not every chemist-turned-activist who can work the word "orgasm" 
into a schtick about plastic and elicit laughs. The tapes' audience — the 
grassroots audience — loves them not only for their humor. Activists devour 
the information and use the well-documented horror stories of poorly 
managed facilities to galvanize public opinion against unwanted plants at 
home. 

Video Active Productions docs not let conventional concerns about 
copyright interfere with distribution. From December 1985 to November 
1992, the company sold 4,454 tapes — an impressive total in itself. In 
addition Bailey and Connett encourage people to duplicate the tapes as often 
as needed. Bailey receives several calls a month from activists who want to 
reproduce tapes. One caller, upon hearing confirmation of the liberal 
copyright policy, said, "Good. Because I'm making 400 copies and giving 
them away." Demand from the front for one tape — a gruesome inside look 
at work conditions inside a medical waste incinerator — was so great and so 
immediate that Bailey never finished editing it, and to this day he distributes 
the rough cut. 

The tapes give activists the technical information to pursue their local 
struggles while drawing strength from the knowledge and experience of 
activists in other parts of the world. When activists hear the stories of people 
living in the shadow of other facilities or the success of a recycling program, 
they lose the feeling of working in isolation. One viewer wrote: "Received 
your tape this afternoon and immediately slipped it into the VCR... What 
comes to mind while watching [your] film was a battlefield with our forces 
dug in. We had lots of troops and adequate weapons. What we lacked most 
was ammo. And lo and behold the ammo arrived. Yes, little David is going 
to take on Goliath." 



For Connett and Bailey, it is a labor of love to 
create videos for "little Davids" around the world, 
like these activists in East Liverpool, Ohio, site of 
one of the nation's largest commercial waste 
incinerators. 

Courtesy Greenpeace 



For both Connett and Bailey , it is a labor of love to create videos for "little 
Davids" around the world. They scramble to cover the costs of production 
(which average less than $2,000 per video) as well as costs for duplication 
and distribution. In 1991, their peak year so far, they generated $25,000 in 
tapes sales, almost exactly what they had spent. Bailey has used some of the 
income to upgrade their equipment from VHS to a Hi8 camera and three- 
quarter-inch editing equipment. 

Connett started a newsletter for activists the year before founding Video 
Active Productions, but he soon turned to video because, "It wasn't enough 
just to write it down." In his passionate dedication to furthering grassroots 
activism, he spends all his free time on the road, rallying the troops and 
persuading Bailey to forego fine-tuning the tapes to get them out the door 
and to "the front" as fast as possible. Bailey, who functions as vidcographer, 
editor, and producer, turned to video out of dissatisfaction with the oppor- 
tunities available to voice his opinion in his own local battle against an 
incinerator. Although the artist in him craves more time to improve the 
quality of the tapes, the activist says with both resignation and pride, "The 
citizens don't want Eisenstein's editing. They want the stuff in two days so 
they can make their argument. It changes the definition of doing something 
well. We're doing it well simply by getting the tapes to them when they need 
them." 

Bailey summarized the philosophy behind their homespun productions 
in a recent lecture: "My notion of independent video, as opposed to 
commercial television, is that it can be the 'public space' where we can share 
knowledge, ideas, identities within our own communities. Our aim has 
always been to provide the information and encouragement that will assist 
communities in finding the best solutions to their waste problems." In 
thousands of living rooms, church groups, and civic organizations around 
the world, the tapes of Video Active Productions bring people together in 
that public space. Their example offers a striking lesson for activist- 
producers seeking to effect environmental change: create the tapes the 
audience truly needs and the demand may fuel your endeavor. 

•!• Clout from the big league** 

Nancy Bickell, a mother of two and a scholar with several degrees in English 
Renaissance poetry, never intended to become a video activist. But like 
LiveOak, Moore, Connett, and Bailey, she got hooked. During a leave from 
academia in the 1970s, she became actively involved in a local California 
chapter of the League of Conservation Voters. KTVU-TV in Oakland 
invited Bickell and other league members to work as volunteer producers on 
a series of candidate debates and documentaries about local political issues. 
Then came deregulation. One by one, stations dropped their public affairs 



38 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



Nancy Bickell's tapes for the League of Women 

Voters of California, Cleaning Up Toxics at Home and 

Cleaning Up Toxics in Business, were accompanied 

by a full-blown educational campaign about the 

recycling of hazardous wastes. 

Photo: Florence O'Donovan, courtesy filmmaker 



programming. KTVU stopped doing joint ventures with the League of 
Conservation Voters, and Bickell struck out on her own as an independent 
producer. 

Opportunity knocked in 1987 when the League of Women Voters of 
California released a statewide study of hazardous materials management 
in California and decided to educate its members on the subject. The 
League's panel of experts wanted to create two half-hour tapes, Cleaning 
Up Toxics at Home and Cleaning Up Toxics in Business, to educate the 
public and specifically promote household hazardous waste recycling 
drives run by local league chapters. Bickell had the experience and desire 
to produce the tapes and, no less importantly, she had approval from the 
League's Education Fund. But she had no funding. 

She raised the $ 1 25,000 needed for the two tapes in less than a year. But 
she lost five months negotiating a broadcast deal with a commercial station 
that never came through. After Bickell had prepared the research and raised 
the funds, the station wanted editorial control. Bickell said no, and ulti- 
mately was able to maintain the integrity of her vision, though she regrets 
the lost time. She and the league decided to hold the release until fall 1 990 — 
six months after the twentieth anniversay celebration of Earth Day — hoping 
the tapes would hit people with the message: "Did you really do all those 
things you promised to do on Earth Day? Here's another chance." 

The two tapes emphasize what citizens and small business owners can do 
to reduce the volume of toxic waste. They stress simple, practical steps 
people can take to reuse unwanted toxic waste (like donating old paint to 
community groups) and to reduce the amount of toxic products used in the 
first place (like using vinegar or baking soda in place of commercial 
cleaning products). The tone is so unthreatening to the corporate world that 
several corporations are among the funders of the project, including Dow, 
Clorox, and Hewlett-Packard. But by encouraging people to consider 
alternatives to toxic products, the message of the tapes does challenge 
business as usual, just in a much quieter, subtler, less confrontational way. 

This approach, not surprisingly, has been extremely successful in reach- 
ing a very broad audience. Bickell did a mailing to the 1,100 league 
presidents in the U.S. a month in advance of the satellite feed through PBS 's 
Pacific Mountain Network. A hundred leagues responded, and 98 public 
stations took down the feed. Bickell also designed a press packet and 
distributed it to every league chapter in California, stressing local angles to 
the story. Persuaded by local leaguers, if not by Bickell herself, 100 
commercial broadcast and cable stations in California also aired the series 
and promoted local toxics clean-up programs. 

In addition to promoting the tapes, the league prepared materials encour- 
aging citizen participation. Concerned viewers were sent a "Cleaning Up 
Toxics Fact Sheet" upon request. Stations received a series of public service 
announcements promoting ways to eliminate toxic products from the home. 
League chapters in California received a free "Cleaning Up Toxics Kit" 
with suggestions about how to use the tapes effectively. One group of league 
chapters in Silicon Valley obtained a $5,000 grant for training speakers to 
use the video and lead discussions at meetings of civic organizations, senior 
citizens clubs, and environmental groups. 

Yet the work of an independent is never done — even one with the backing 
of an organization the size of the California League of Women Voters. 




Bickell says she must wage a "constant campaign in this group of very print- 
oriented people to convince them that if they want to affect public opinion 
on public policy issues, they have to turn their emphasis to television." The 
commitment to constant and comprehensive public outreach campaigns 
like this one is exactly what Americans need to find the way to a greener 
future. 

* Saving the dolphins 

In 1975 Stan Minasian read an article about dolphins being killed by tuna 
fishing boats. Fishermen using purse seine nets (named for the way they 
close like a change purse) in the eastern tropical Pacific were slaughtering 
dolphins, which swim above schools of large yellowfin tuna in the hundreds 
of thousands. Minasian decided to make a film about the issue. With an idea 
and absolutely no experience, he approached various broadcasters to see if 
they would bite. KPIX-TV, a CBS affiliate in San Francisco, provided 
everything Minasian needed to make the film — producer, crew, publicists. 
Everything, that is, except the funding. So Minasian raised the $35,000 
needed for his 16mm film, titled The Last Days of the Dolphins. 

After the film aired on KPIX, Minasian obtained permission to distribute 
it to other broadcasters. With the help of the Environmental Defense Fund, 
Minasian provided the film free of charge to 325 commercial and public 
stations. Though it was an enormously successful first film, the surrounding 
publicity had no lasting impact on the tuna industry. The film contained no 
damning visual evidence of tuna boats slaughtering dolphins, and an 
industry representative told Minasian to his face that they could wait it out. 
They did. And Minasian went on to a career producing films about marine 
mammal issues. 

Thirteen years later, biologist Sam Labudde walked into Minasian 's 
office and told him he could get the footage needed to make the tuna industry 
change its ways. Labudde went to Mexico and got a job as a cook on a 
Panamanian fishing boat. The camcorder over his shoulder, he told his 
coworkers, was a gift from his father to document his wayward life at sea. 

Over the next four months, Labudde shot the first evidence of the 
gruesome death of dolphins in tuna fishing nets. His images of dolphins 
drowning in the nets, crushed in the machinery, and thrown dead back into 
the water catapulted the slaughter to world attention. Despite extensive use 
of the tape by both national and international broadcasters, the tuna industry 
still showed no sign of changing its ways. 

Labudde and Minasian teamed up to create a film that forced the tuna 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 39 



Dead spotted dolphins on the deck of a tuna 

boat, a situation filmmaker Stan Minasian and 

biologist Sam Labudde helped turn around. 

Photo: Earthtmst, courtesy filmmaker 



industry to listen to the public's outcry against the 
slaughter. With Labudde's support, Minasian pro- 
duced WkereHave All theDolphins Gone? (1990), 
an elegant film that conveys a gentle sense of the 
mysterious affinity between humans and dolphins. 
It chronicles the long struggle to prevent the tuna 
industry from killing dolphins. But the cornerstone 
of the film is Labudde's footage. Though the film 
received critical acclaim (first place at the 1991 
U.S. Environmental Film Festival) and extensive 
play in 33 countries, its true succes lies in its impact 
on just one man: Anthony O'Reilly, chief execu- 
tive officer of H.J. Heinz, which owns Starkist, the largest tuna packer in the 
United States. 

A few weeks before the film aired nationally on the Discovery Channel 
in April 1990, Minasian sent a copy directly to O'Reilly and informed him 
that a series of PSAs would run throughout the hour asking viewers to call 
an 800-number and send telegrams to H.J. Heinz protesting the dolphin- 
slaughter. (In lieu of payment from the Discovery Channel, Minasian 
requested three-and-a-half minutes of advertising time for the PSAs during 
the broadcast of the film). One week before the airdate, O'Reilly announced 
that Heinz would buy only dolphin-safe tuna. Once Heinz announced this, 
Minasian rewrote and retaped the celebrity PSAs that originally called for 
a boycott of Heinz products. Instead, viewers were asked to send mailgrams 
to Washington in support of legislation banning the importation of tuna 
caught by methods that killed dolphins. When the film aired in 1990 and 
1991, 60,000 people responded. An updated version of the film was cut in 
1991 which included an interview with O'Reilly saying: "Because of the 
gross scenes that were shown in the Labudde film, there was a growing 
barrage of criticism, well-orchestrated, which I think served to convey a 
growing sentiment. ..that the previous fishing methods were no longer 
acceptable." 

For a film so successful on so many fronts — aesthetically, politically , and 
critically — it received remarkably little support from broadcasters and 
cablecasters. Minasian first approached PBS, but it would not allow the use 
of a toll-free number (other than for its own fundraising and tape sales). In 
January 1990 Turner Broadcasting verbally committed to air the film. In 
exchange, Labudde and Minasian allowed Turner's series The World of 
Audobon to use three minutes of Labudde's tape in a program of their own 
on dolphins. After the Audobon program used 14 minutes, Turner turned 
down Where Have All the Dolphins Gone, saying the story had already been 
told. When the producers finally made a deal with the Discovery Channel, 




the network promised to publicize the cablecast widely; ultimately, how- 
ever, it did almost nothing. Minasian placed ads himself in major publica- 
tions. Discovery, which got free advertising and great ratings, criticized 
Minasian for going around it. 

When asked about the success of the film, Minasian replies that his 
overriding feeling is one of relief. It took him 1 5 years and two films to tell 
the world about the dolphin slaughter. "If [environmental films] arc going 
to be really effective in terms of changing things for the better, they are going 
to have to be allied with campaigns," says Labudde. "There is going to have 
to be some forethought given to how to use this film as part of a template for 
change." Currently Minasian has four films in various stages of production. 
He is most animated when he talks about one on driftnet and fillnet fishing, 
which he says may be the most impassioned film he has ever made. It will 
be worth watching what happens when executives in the fishing industry 
turn on their television sets and find Minasian once again at work. 

As the experiences of these diverse producers demonstrate, to change 
business as usual in the environment we need to begin by changing business 
as usual on television. And we need to train more people, particularly 
grassroots activists, to turn to media when they have an important environ- 
mental issue to communicate. In this relatively new business of using media 
to protect the environment, a few simple maxims apply: there are no rules 
about who can produce; give the people the information they need, and they 
will respond; loosen the reins on copyright, and you will widen your circle 
of influence; think creatively about marketing, and you will find new 
audiences; spend the years it may take to get the word out, and you will be 
rewarded with the satisfaction of being heard, the gratification of seeing 
change, and the appreciation of future generations. 

Karen Hirsh is a video producer and has acted as director of the Greenpeace 
video department since 1988. 



40 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



Domestic 

ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, July, NY. Sponsored by Asian CineVision, non- 
competitive fest, founded in 1977, is country's oldest 
showcase for works by Asian & Asian American film- 
makers. After NY run, fest begins 10-mo. tour of N. 
America. Films produced, directed &/or written by 
artists of Asian heritage eligible. Features & shorts in all 
cats accepted. Entries originally produced on film only; 
no video-to-film transfers. Asian American Media Award 
to honored filmmaker. Previous editions showcased 40 
films from US, Canada, Australia, UK, Singapore. Hong 
Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, China, Iran. Formats: 
35mm. 16mm; preview on cassette. Deadline: Mar. 1. 
Contact: Minne Hong, Asian American Int'l Film 
Festival, Asian CineVision, 32 E. Broadway, 4th tl, 
NY, NY 10002; (212) 925-8685; fax: (212) 925-8157. 

CAROLINA FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, Mar. 31- 
Apr. 3, NC. Held at Univ. of N. Carolina, Greensboro, 
fest showcases outstanding student & ind. prods. Docs, 
narratives, experimental & animated works accepted. 
Jury awards $2,500 in prize money. Entry fee: $15 
(under 25 min.); $25 (over 25 min.). Formats: 16mm, 
super 8, 3/4". Deadline: Feb. 10 (postmark). Contact: 
Paul Russ, Carolina Film & Video Fest, Broadcasting/ 
Cinema Division, Carmichael Bldg.,UNC-Greensboro, 
Greensboro, NC 27412; (919) 334-5360. 

CINE COUNCIL ON NONTHEATRICAL EVENTS, 

August, DC. Nontheatrical films & videos (w/exception 
of TV ads & spot announcements) eligible for compe- 
tition. Golden Eagles awarded in following cats: amateur, 
agriculture, animation/children's, arts/crafts, business/ 
industry , doc, educational, entertainment/shorts, nature/ 
environmental, history, medicine, oceanography, public 
health, safety /training, science, services, sports, travel. 
Entries must be US prods. CINE enters award winners 
in foreign fests. Winners also eligible for Academy- 
Award nominations. Entries judged by 500 film/video 
pros. Entrants should send appl 1st & films/tapes when 
instructed. Entry fees: $45 & up. Formats: 16mm, 3/4". 
Deadline: Feb. 1 (also Aug. 1). Contact: Awards Director, 
CINE, 1001 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 
20036; (202) 785-1 136; fax: (202) 785-41 14. 

GLOBAL AFRICA INTERNATIONAL FILM & VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, June, CA. Presented by PCTV cable network, 
seeks works that capture experiences of people of African 
descent. Scope is int'l. Requires 3/4" (1/2" possible). 
Exhib. quality cassette. Entries meeting standards to be 
cablecast on PCTV in S.F. Bay area, and screened at 
Oakland Museum. Fee: $20. Deadline: March 1 . Contact: 
Peralta Colleges TV, Global Africa Fest 1993, 900 
Fallon St, 9th fl, Oakland, CA 94607; (510) 464-3253. 

HOMETOWN USA VIDEO FESTIVAL, July 22, CA. 
Sponsored by Nat'l Federation of Local Cable 
Programmers, competitive fest, founded in 1977, 
recognizes outstanding local programs produced for or 
by local orgs & public, educational & gov't access 
operations. Awards: 4 special awards for overall excel- 
lence in public access, local origination, educational & 
gov't access; finalists, honorable mentions & winners in 
34 cats, incl. performing arts; ethnic expression; enter- 
tainment; sports; by & for youth; live; municipal; 
religious; educational; instructional/training; infor- 
mational; innovative; int'l; by & for seniors; PSA; doc 
profile/event/public awareness; video art; music video; 
local news; magazine format; original teleplay. 1993 
awards ceremony in Atlanta. Entries produced in previous 
yr. Fest annually receives 2,000 entries. Deadline: Mar. 



This month's festivals have been 
compiled by Kathryn Bowser, director 
of the FIVF Festival Bureau. Listings do 
not constitute an endorsement. Since 
some details change faster than we 
do, we recommend that you contact 
the festival for further information 
before sending prints or tapes. In order 
to improve our reliability and make 
this column more beneficial to 
independents, we encourage all film- 
and videomakers to contact FIVF 
Festival Bureau with their personal 
festival experiences, positive and 
negative. 

5. Contact: Hometown USA Video Festival. The Buske 
Group, 2015 J St, Ste 28, Sacramento, CA 95814; (916) 
441-6277; fax: (916)441-7670. 

HUMBOLDT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Mar. 
25-28, CA. Forum for student & ind. filmmakers, fest, 
founded in 1967, "aims to support filmmakers who 
dedicate their time (& money) to expressing their 
imagination through film." Fest incl. workshops by 
judges/guest artists, nightly screenings of student works 
& postscreening gatherings. Held at Minor Theater 
(oldest feature film theater in existence). Entries must 
have been completed in previous 3 yrs. Accepts exper- 
imental narrative, doc, animation & any form of film 
created by students or inds. Entry fees: $30/ 16mm & 
super 8 up to 30 min.; $35/1 6mm or s-8 up over 30 min. 
& all 35mm films. Formats: 35mm, 1 6mm, s-8. Deadline: 
Feb. 13. Contact: Humboldt Int'l Film Fest., Theatre 
Arts Dept, Humboldt State University, Areata, CA 9552 1 ; 
(707) 826-41 13; fax: (707) 826-5494. 

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH AND MEDICAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, July, IL. Formerly biennial John Muir 
Medical Film Festival. Annual fest, in 1 8th yr, moved to 
southern CA; will be held in Chicago this yr. World's 
largest competition devoted entirely to medical & health- 
related A/Vs, w/ gala awards ceremony featured on 
CNBC Network & Lifetime Medical Television, both 
sponsors. 40 film cats: 15 in health professional area 
(which air on Lifetime) & 25 health consumer cats 
(which air on CNBC). Grand Winner receives Helen 
Hayes Award. Over 1,000 entries from 21 countries 
expected. Theme: "Visions: Healing the Human 
Condition"; fest enlarged to incl. films on environment 
& how it affects health. Entry fees: $75-$200 (substantial 
discount to Academy members). Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4", interactive laser videodisc. Deadline: Mar. 30. 
Contact: Edith Nielsen, Int'l Health & Medical Film 
Fest, Academy of Medical Films, 4020 Palos Verdes Dr. 
North, Ste 120, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274; (310) 
544-5899; fax: (310) 544-5897. 

MONITOR AWARDS, July 10, CA. Sponsored by Int'l 
Teleproduction Society, an int'l trade association, 
competition honors excellence in electronic production 



& postproduction. Cats & craft areas incl. entertainment 
series; entertainment specials; film-originated 
entertainment; music video; nat'l commercials; local 
commercials; promotions; children's programming; 
sports; docs; short subjects; show reels; internal corp. 
communcations; promotional (nonbroadcast); 
informational (nonbroadcast); opens; closes; titles; 
transitions; logos; IDs; developmental computer 
animation. Awards best achievement honors to pro- 
ducers, directors, editors, etc. in each cat. Awards given 
at Beverly Hilton in July. Entries produced or 
postproduced between Jan. & Dec. of preceding yr. 
Entries originating on film must be postproduced 
electronically. Entry fees: $120-160. Format: 3/4". 
Deadline: Jan. 15 (please call; entry date may be 
extended). Contact: Cece Lazarescu, Int'l Monitor 
Awards, 350 5th Ave, Ste 2400, New York, NY 101 18; 
(212) 629-3266; fax: (212) 629-3265. 

MONTAGE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE 
IMAGE, Jul. 1 1 -Aug. 7, NY. In coordination w/ Media 
Center at Visual Studies Workshop, Montage 93 invites 
students pre-K through grad school to submit work for 
exhib. of electronic time-based media "to celebrate 
fusion of arts & technology in contemporary image 
making & to explore the future of visual commun- 
ications." Tapes reviewed by peer committees of time- 
based media students. Eligible entries must be time- 
based media incl. video, film, computer imagery & 
animation. Entries must have been completed after Jan. 
1990. Max. length: 30 min. Formats: 3/4", 1/2", Beta, 
8mm, Hi8. Deadline: Feb. 1 . Contact: Montage 93: Int'l 
Fest of the Image, 31 Prince St, Rochester, NY 14607- 
1499; (716) 442-8897; fax: (716) 442-8931. 

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OFLESBIAN 
AND GAY FILM THE NEW FESTIVAL, June, NY. 
Showcases all film & video genres by, for, or about gay 
men & lesbians, incl. dramatic features & shorts, docs & 
experimental works. Entry fee: $5. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4", 1/2", s-8 (if transferred to video); preview 
on cassette. Deadline: Mar. 1 5. Contact: Jeffrey Lunger/ 
Sande Zeig, New Festival, 80 8th Ave, Ste, 902, New 
York, NY 1001 1; (212) 807-1820; fax: (212) 807-9843. 

NEWARK BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, July, NJ. 1 9th yr of 
6-wk. summer fest of films by black filmmakers & films 
showcasing culture of blacks throughout world. 
Filmmakers, scholars, historians & other guests discuss 
films & interact w/ audience. Paul Robeson Awards, 
biennial competitive feature of fest, accepts noncom- 
mercial, ind. films/videos completed in previous 2 yrs in 
cats, of doc, non-doc, animation & experimental. Pieces 
produced for TV eligible; films produced for industrial, 
commercial or studio purposes ineligible. Cash prizes 
awarded to winning film in each cat. Program also 
features Special Films for Children. Cosponsored by 
Newark Museum, Newark Public Library, Newark 
Symphony Hall, Rutgers-Newark & NJ Inst, of 
Technology; tickets free to public. Entry fee: $25. 
Formats: 16mm, 1/2". Deadline: Mar. 1. Contact: Jane 
Rappaport, Newark Black Film Festival, Newark 
Museum, 49 Washington St, Box 540, Newark, NJ 
07101; (201) 596-6550; fax: (201) 642-0459. 

PHILADELPHIA FESTIVAL OF WORLD CINEMA, May 

5-16, PA. Produced by Int'l House of Philadelphia, this 
curated & noncompetitive, annual 2-wk celebration 
highlights best of recent & classic world cinema. Fest 
features premiere screenings of int'l & US ind. feature 
& short films. Selections made by programmers & 
program consultants mostly based on viewings at other 
fests. Special events incl. tributes, workshops, Festival 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 41 



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of Independents (showcase of works by film/videomakers 
in Philly area) & Set in Philadelphia sercenwriting 
competition (deadline Feb. I , entry fee $20, $3,000 in 
prize money, open to screenwriters who submil original 
feature-length screenplay set in Greater Philly metro 
area). Send letter & descriptive material only, no preview 
cassettes unless requested. Most decisions by Feb. 15. 
Contact: Linda Blackaby, director; Judy Adamson, 
managing director, Philadelphia Festival of World 
Cinema, Int'l House, 3701 Chestnut St, Philadelphia. 
PA 19104; (215) 895-6593; fax: (215) 895-6562. 

PRINCETON LESBIAN AND GAY FILM AND VIDEO 

FESTIVAL, Spring, NJ.Acceptsexperimental, narrative, 
animation & doc works of any length. Works should be 
related lo lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer or transgender 
concerns. Students encouraged to submit. No entry fee. 
Formats: 16mm, s-8, 1/2"; preview on 1/2" only. 
Deadline: Feb. 1 . Contact: LGBA, 306 Aaron Burr Hall, 
Princeton, NJ 08544; (609) 683-0052/258-4522. 

RETIREMENT RESEARCH FOUNDATION NATION- 
AL MEDIA AWARDS, May 19, IL. Competitive fest for 
outstanding films, videos & TV series that address 
aging, capture images of older persons & illuminate 
challenge & promise of aging society. Entries must deal 
w/ concerns of aged or those working in field. Cats: ind. 
films, TV nonfiction, training & theatrical. Awards: 1st 
prize: $5,000, Owl statuette; 2nd prize: $1,000. plaque; 
honorable mentions: $500, plaque to 2 films; community 
video award in TV nonfiction cat. only: $2,000. sialuctle; 
special achievement award: $5,000, statuette. Entries 
must have been produced in US & released or initially 
televised between Jan. & Dec. of previous yr. For- 
mats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Deadline: Feb. 2. Contact: Ray 
Bradford, Retirement Research Foundation Nat'l Media 
Awards, Center for New Television, 1440 N. Dayton, 
Chicago, IL 60622; (3 1 2) 95 1 -6868. 

RIVERTOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 

April, MN. One of larger fests in upper Midwest region, 
noncompetitive fest of fests, sponsored by Univ. of 
Minnesota Film Society/Minnesota Film Center, 
annually presents 90 features from 30 countries & 
shorts. Programs held at Film in Cities, Walker Art 
Center, Orpheum & Varsity Theaters. Program incl. 
features, selected shorts or featurettes, contemporary 
int'l films, US inds. Different nat'l cinema each yr, 
commercial features for opening & closing. Schedule 
incl. some US premieres & occasional world premieres. 
Best of Fest awarded, based on audience pol I , in several 
cats, incl. children's, feature, short, actor, actress. Limited 
funds for director's transportation & accommodations. 
No entry fee. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on 
cassette. Deadline: Apr. 15. Contact: Al Milgrom, fest 
director, Rivertown Int'l Film Fest., University of 
Minnesota Film Society, Minnesota Film Center, 425 
Ontario St, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414; (612) 627- 
4431; fax: (612) 627-4430. 

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, May 
1 3-June 6, WA. Now entering 1 9th yr, one of the largest 
noncompetitive events in the Northwest. Features (over 
60 min.) & shorts (under 20 min.) accepted. Each yr 
about 140 films from 40 countries screened. Program 
incl. US & world premieres & special events (tributes, 
seminars, midnight screenings). Entry fees: $50 (fea- 
tures); $10 (shorts). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Deadline: 
Mar. 15. Contact: Darryl Macdonald, Seattle Int'l Film 
Festival, Egyptian Theater, 801 E. Pine St., Seattle, WA 
98122; (206) 324-9996; fax: (206) 324-9998. 

UPLAND MAIN STREET FILM FESTIVAL, May 13-15, 
CA. Seeks submissions of new features, shorts & docs 



42 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



in several cats., incl. community life, environmental, 
history, current events, biz, sociology, drama, comedy, 
experimental, arts, nature, biography. Theme "Tales of 
the American West: Old & New." Competitive & curated 
sections. Formats: 16mm, 8mm, 3/4", 1/2"; preview on 
1/2". Entry fee: $25. Deadline: Mar. 15. Contact: Cheryl 
Harris, competition chair. Main Street Film Festival, c/ 
o Communication Studies UH-19, California State U., 
San Bernardino. CA 92407; (714) 880-5897/Fred 
Straeter, fest chair. (714) 931-2610. 

USA FILM FESTIVAL, Apr. 22-29, TX. Fest showcases 
new & original features & shorts, w/ program incl. 
premieres of new major motion pictures, best new works 
from ind. & emerging filmmakers, special tributes incl. 
Great Director Award & retro, 15th annual Nat'l Short 
Film & Video Competition & panel discussions w/ int'l 
filmmakers. Awards: up to $1,000 in cats incl. fiction, 
nonfiction, animation, experimental & awards for best 
of student, musical, family & ad/promotional works. 
One entry wins Charles Samu Award for "best repre- 
senting excellence for family audiences." Deadlines: 
Mar. 5 (features & shorts for exhibition; contact program- 
ming dept.); Feb. 1 9 (short films/videos under 60 min. to 
competition; contact (214) 821-NEWS; entry fee $40). 
Contact: USA Film Festival, 2917 Swiss Ave, Dallas. 
TX 75204; (214) 821-6300; fax: (214) 821-6364. 

WASHINGTON DC INTERNATIONAL FILMFEST DC, 

April, DC. More than 50 int'l features & 25 shorts 
receive Washington area premiere in noncompetitive 
fest, now in 7th yr. Fest sponsors 2 free events: Filmfest 
DC for Kids & Cinema for Seniors. Competitive section 
for Washington DC metro-area filmmakers. Cats incl 
fiction, doc, animation, family & children's programs, 
educational panels. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Deadline: 
Jan. 15. Contact: Filmfest DC, Box 2 1 396, Washington, 
DC; (202) 727-2396; fax: (202) 727-9267. 

WORLDFEST-HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, Apr. 16-25, TX. Worldfest-Houston offers 
competition in several major cats: feature, doc, TV prod, 
experimental & ind. films/videos, shorts, commercials 
& PSAs, music videos, screenplays, student prods & 
new media. Cash prizes & trophies awarded. Fest receives 
entries of more than 3,500 films & tapes; over 150 
features & more than 200 shorts, docs & experimental 
films are selected. Fest also incl. film/video market w/ 
buyers & distributors in attendance. Screenings held at 
AMC Greenway Plaza Theaters & Museum of Fine 
Arts. Deadline: Mar. 1. Contact: J. Hunter Todd, fest 
director, 26th Worldfest-Houston, P.O. Box 56566, 
Houston, TX 77256-6566; (800) 524-1438 or (713) 
965-9955; fax: (713) 965-9960. 



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ANNECY INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED FILM 
FESTIVAL, June 1-6, France. 3,000 attend biennial 
festival/market for animated work. Founded in 1956, 
it's world's largest animation event. Fest has films from 
all countries. Programming committees look at fiction 
films (shorts & features) & commissioned film/TV film 
(educational, company, commercials, credits, trailers, 
animated sequences, TV movies.) Competition section 
incl. short fiction programs, commissioned film/TV 
programs, feature film programs. Panorama section. 
Retros, tributes, exhibitions, colloquia & seminars also 
planned. Entries must have been produced in 2 yrs 
preceding fest. Awards: Annecy Grand Animated Film 
Prize; special distinctions for script, music, animation 
quality or backgrounds, computer animation; short film 
prize; 1st film; feature prize; FIPRESCI Prize; Youth 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



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Contact: Edward LoVette 
105 E 9th Street, New York, NY. 10003 Tel (21 2) 674-3404 Fax 473-7427 



THE INDEPENDENT 43 



Prize; ASIFA Prize; commissioned film prize 
(educational, scientific, company film): best commercial; 
best credits, trailer, animated sequence; TV series prize. 
Audiences estimated at over 55.000. MIFA, an int'l 
animation market, held at same time. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm. 3/4", 1/2". Contact: Festival Int'l du Film 
d' Animation, BP 399, 74013 Annecy Cedex, France; 
tel: 33 50 57 4 1 72; fax: 33 50 67 81 95. 

It wi I TELEVISION FESTIVAL, June 6-12, Canada. 
Fest incl. int'l competition, conference tor TV pros, 
informal reproduction marketplace. Cats: made-for-TV 
mm ies, miniseries. continuing series, short dramas, TV 
comedies, social/political docs, performance specials, 
children's programs. Competition entries must be made 
for TV (films in theatrical release not eligible). Entries 
originally in English or French must premiere after 
March of preceding yr. Producers of programs judged 
best in each cat receive "Rockies" sculptures. Grand 
Prize awarded to film or program judged Best of Fest. 
Jury may also make 2 Special Awards for outstanding 
achievements. Special "on-demand" screening facilities 
for all programs, in or out of competition. Contact: Jerry 
Ezekiel, Banff Television Festival, Banff Centre, 204 
Caribou St., #306, Box 1020, Banff, Alberta, Canada 
TOL OCO; (403) 762-3060; fax: (403) 762-5357. 

( VNNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, May 1 3- 

24. France. Now in 46th yr, Cannes is 1 of world's 
largest, most prestigious & selective fests, over 35,000 
guests. Activities incl. screenings, parties ceremonies, 
press conferences & major film market. Screening or 
award at Cannes provides fame & prestige. Selection 
Committee, appointed by administrative board, chooses 
entries for Official Competition (about 20 films) & for 



Un Certain Regard section. Films must be made w/in 
prior yr, released in country of origin & not entered in 
other tests. Official selection consists of 3 sections: 
Official Competition, in which features & shorts com- 
pete for major fest awards: Special Out-of-Competition. 
which showcases features ineligible for Competition 
(e.g., films by previous winners of Palme d'Or) & Un 
Certain Regard, noncompetitive section for films of int'l 
quality that do not quality for competition, significant 
works in the fields of innovative features, films by new 
dirs, etc. Parallel sections incl.Quinzaine des Realisatcurs 
(Directors' Fortnight), main sidebar for new talent, 
sponsored by Assn of French Film Directors; La Semaine 
de la Critique (Int'l Critics' Week), selection of 1st or 
2nd features & docs chosen by members of French Film 
Critics Union (must be completed w/in 2 yrs. prior to 
fest) & Cinemas en France. Market screens films in 
main venue & local theater. Awards incl.: Official 
Competition's Palme d'Or (feature & short) & Camera 
d'Or (best 1st film in any section). Formats: 35mm, 
16mm. For info & accreditation, contact Catherine 
Verret, French Film Office, 745 Fifth Ave, New York, 
NY 10151; (212)832-8860; fax:(212)755-0629. Official 
Selection: Festival Int'l du Film (deadline: Mar. 1 ), 7 1 , 
rue du Faubourg St. Honore, 75008 Paris, France; tel: 33 
1 4266 92 20; fax: 33 1 42 66 68 85, tlx: FESTIFI 285 765 
F. Quinzaine des Realisateurs (deadline April 1 7), Societe 
desRealisateursde Film, 2 15, rue Faubourg St. Honore. 
75008 Paris, France; tel: 33 1 45 61 01 66; fax: 33 1 40 
74 07 96. Semaine Internationale de la Critique (deadline 
March 1), 21 rue des Grands Champs, 75020 Paris, 
France; tel: 33 1 43 73 80 10; fax: 33 1 43 70 85 82. 
Cannes Film Market, attn: Marcel Lathiere, Michel P. 
Bonnet. 71, rue du Faubourg St. Honore, 75008 Paris, 
France, tel: 33 1 42 66 92 20; fax: 33 1 42 66 68 85; tlx: 



FESTIFI 285 765. 

KOBE INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM FES- 
TIVAL/INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETI- 
TION, June 8-13. Japan. Ind. short films under 60 min. 
invited for int'l competition in new film festival. All 
genres, completed since Aug. 1, 1991, accepted. Entries 
nuisi not have been previously screened in Japan for 
more than 7 days or on more than 7 occasions. Awards: 
Kobe Grand Prize (¥5,000,000); Special Jury Award 
(¥2,000,000); Young Director's Award (¥1,000,000); 
Kinetoscope Award to Japanese film (¥ 1 ,000,000); Kobe 
Citizens' Award to audience favorite (¥1 ,000,000). Fest 
will invite one filmmaker each of Grand Prize nominees 
(approx. 20) to fest, covering r/t economy class ticket & 
accom. No entry fee. Formats: 35mm. 16mm; preview 
on cassette. Deadline: Mar. 1. Contact: Kobe Film 
Awards Exec. Committee, KIIFF Secretariat, Golden 
Sun Bldg., 4th fl„ 4-3-6 Nakayamate Dori, Chuo-ku, 
Kobe, 650, Japan; tel/fax: 81 78 252 1691 . 

LONDON INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY FILM 
FESTIVAL, March, UK. 7th yr of fest, sponsored by 
British Film Institute, presents 100 films/videos from 
world w/ thematic retros, rare screenings & special 
events. Goal to present new work by lesbians/gays 
"alongside other films/videos of particular interest for 
lesbian/gay content or for imaginative way in which 
they address themes of sexuality & gender." Deadline: 
Feb. 1. Contact: Paula Jalfon, London Int'l Lesbian & 
Gay Film Fest, Nat'l Film Theatre, South Bank, Waterloo, 
London SE18XT, UK; 71 815 1322; fax: 71 633 9323. 

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 

June 4-19, Australia. Now in 42nd yr, FIAPF- & Int'l 
Short Film Conference-recognized fest is one of 




You don't need an Aeroflot ticket 
to find compelling images from 
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Russian history — from before the 
1917 Revolution to the revolution 
of today — is available in our com- 
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To find out more, give us a call. 

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THE 

1993 

CHARLOTTE 

FILM AND VIDEO 

FESTIVAL 

Entry deadline: February 15, 1993 

Festival: April 30 - May 8 

Awards: Cash awards $3,500+ 

Entry Forms: Mint Museum of Art 

c/o Robert West 
2730 Randolph Road 
Charlotte NC 28207 
(704) 337-2000 
FAX (704) 337-2101 




44 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



Australia's 2 largest & its oldest. Director programs 
ecclectic mix of ind. work. Int'l short film competition 
I in 3 1 st v r ) important part of test. Kino Awards for Short 
Film (sponsored by Kino Cinemas) incl. Grand Prix 
(S5000)& awards ofS 1500 each to best Australian film, 
experimental, animated, doc, fiction & student. Other 
awards are ANZAAS-CSERO for outstanding film/video 
dealing w/ science-related subject (SI 500) & AFI 
Distribution Prize for film/video showing particular 
distribution potential. Fest seeks entries for young 
people's film fest & science film fest & new program 
focusing on architecture & design. Fest useful window 
to Australian theatrical & nontheatrical outlets, educ- 
ational distributors & Australian networks. Feature- 
length narrative & doc films over 60 min. considered: 
work must have been completed on 35mm & 16mm 
(video work considered at discretion of fest director) 
since Jan. 1992 & not screened in Australia. Short film 
competition open to films up to 60 min., on 35mm & 
16mm (super 8 & video accepted out of competition) 
completed since Jan. 1992 & not screened in Australia. 
Entry fee: S15 (int'l money order). Deadlines: Apr. 2 
(features); Mar. 19 (shorts). Contact: Tait Brady, fest 
director, Melbourne Int'l Film Festival, 207 Johnston 
St., P.O. Box 296. Fitzroy 3065, Victoria, Australia: tel: 
61 3 417-2011; fax: 61 3 417 3804. 

MONTBELIARD INTERNATIONAL VIDEO AND 

TELEVISIONFESTIVALjune.France.Int'lcompetition 
for original video reflecting personal research. Entries 
must have been produced in preceding 2 yrs. Program 
incl. special screenings, debates, professional meetings. 
Contact: Manifestation Internationale de Video et de 
Television. Centre Int'l de Creation Video Montbeliard 
Belfort, BP 5, 253 1 Herimoncourt. France; 33 8 1 30 90 
30; fax: 33 81 30 95 25. 



MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OFSHORT 
FILM, March, Canada. Presents short films/videos by 
young people who are ind., nonprofessional or student 
directors. Only prods by indivs 35 & under are accepted. 
Official Competition, open to any Quebecer. Canadian 
or foreign production, made in an ind. or nonprofess- 
ional context, awards ALCAN Grand Prize for fiction, 
animation, doc & video. Entries must have been com- 
pleted in prior 2 yrs & not exceed 45 min. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, s-8, 3/4", 1/2"; preview on cassette. 
Entry fee: S24. Deadline: Jan. 22. Fee: S45CDN. Contact: 
Festival Int'l du Jeune Cinema, Association Pour le 
Jeune Cinema Quebecois, 4545 Pierre-de-Coubertin 
Ave, Box 1 000, Station M. Montreal. Quebec H 1 V 3R2, 
Canada: (514) 252-3024; fax: (514) 254-1617. 

YAMAGATA INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY 
FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 5- 1 1 , Japan. Doc film art accepted 
in this competitive, 1 st-established int'l doc fest in Asia. 
Approx. 15 films chosen by selection committee & 
organizing committee for screening; 7-member int'l 
jury awards following: Grand Prize (Robert & Frances 
Flaherty Prize (¥3,000.000); Mayor's Prize (¥ 1 ,000.000); 
2 runner up prizes (¥300,000); special prize (¥300.000). 
Entries must have been produced after April 1 , 1991 & 
not released publicly in Japan prior to showing. Only 
feature-length docs eligible (no shorts). Special events: 
Seizing the Image-Indigenous Peoples' Video & Film; 
Asia Program; Japanese Doc; Ogawa Shinsuke retro; 
Japan Film Program. Fest pays for Japanese versions of 
prints & covers expenses for one rep. of film to attend 
fest. No entry fee. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on 
cassette. Deadline: Mar. 31. Contact: Yamagata Int'l 
Documentary Film Festival, Tokyo Office, Kitagawa 
Bldg. 4th fl, 6-42 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku. Tokyo 1 62. 
Japan, tel: 03 3266 9704; fax: 03 3266 9700. 



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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 45 



Buy ■ Rent ■ Sell 



DOYOl RENT Sony Betacam 40()'s a lot or look to buy 
one? I have mint 400, 18x lens w/ complete sound, 
lighting & grip pkg. Looking for busy cameraperson 
who will work it in exchange for unbeatable rate which 
would cost you less than renting or owning. Call (212) 
226-7686. 

FILMPROFTT, exciting new book & software, helps w/ 
business planning & making money from films in 
distribution. Users say book alone worth cost. The tool 
for planning successful film ventures. Contact: Big 
Horse. 1536-38 18 St, San Francisco, CA 94107, (415) 
648-1604. 

USED FILM EQUIP.: 8-plate. 16mm Virginia Co. 24th 
Frame. Gd cond. 2 pic screens & tracks, up to 3 sound 
tracks, high-torque fast fwd & rewind. $4,000. Acmade 
Pic-Sync motorized 16mm rewinds, 2 pic, 3 snd tracks, 
$500. Andy @ Appalshop (606) 633-0108. 

FOR SALE: Sony VO-4800, new video heads, adapted 
to accept 1/4" headphone jack, KLH case. Make offer. 
Call Andy @ Appalshop, (606) 633-0108. 

7 PI \s TIC YAKS, collection of video art from Kirk-o- 
Matic S>. 30-min. VHS incls: Dart Hole, Royal Con 
Aqua. Apes in Shades & Big State Prawn OFF, Big Bro! 
Great for museums, access TV, PBS, video art, video 
test. Send S12 to Box 163773. Austin, TX 78716. 

NEW EQUIPMENT at fair price. Call (814) 333-8672, 
ext. 2 for pricing on Lowell-Light, AKG. A-T, Bogen, 
Elmo, Fostex Systems, Scnnheiser, Sony TCD5ProII. J. 
Carpenter. 

BUY THESE CHEAP! Fastax hi speed 16 reflex, $395. 
Nizo S-8E w/ Schneider zm, orig. box, etc., $75. Ang. 25 
f/0.95 c-mt, $195. Spectra Tri-color meter outfit, as 
new , $240. Offers: O'Conner Hydroped kit: extensive 
Swiss Stellavox kit, etc. (314) 725-8952. 

FEATURE FILM PROD. PKGS for rent. Arri 16SR-II w/ 
matt box, follow focus, video assist; 16-BL, video 
cameras, lights, grip, plus locations, studios, crews for 
low-budget projects. The Workshops, Rockport, ME 
04856; (207) 236-8581. 

I6M\1 EDITING EQUIPMENT: Moviola 6-plate flatbed 
(M86A), rewinds, splicer, trim bins, hot splicer, synch- 
ronizers, etc. Equip a complete editing room for $6,500 
or b.o. Setup also avail, for rent in Newton, MA. Call 
Ben (612) 524-0980. 

Bl II. I) YOUR OWN high-quality, inexpensive dolly! 
Instructional booklet, $10; booklet with how-to video, 
$30. Send check or money order to Insight Productions, 
P.O. Box 384, Buffalo, NY 14215. 

OXBERRY35MM&16MM RENTALS in Rochester, NY 

animation studio. Low commercial rates & special rates 
for ind. film prods. Fred Armstrong or Skip Battaglia 
(716)244-6550. 

COPYRIGH1 Mil k in AI. video or literary works the 
easy way. Complete package incl. instructions, US 
Copyright Office approved forms, mailers, etc. No lawyer 
needed. Send $35 to: Courtois One, Box 257, New York, 
NY 10024-0257. 

kl \l FACTS VBOUT DESKTOP VIDEO EDITING 

details Hi8 & S-VHS tech ($24.95 + $3 shipping; in NY 
add $2.05 tax). Also avail: Hi8/S-VHS systems & 
consulting. Contact: Desktop Video Systems. Box 668, 
Peck Slip Sta.. New York, NY 10272; (212) 285-1463. 



Each entry in the Classifieds column 
has a 250-character limit & costs $25 
per issue. Ads exceeding this length 
will be edited. Payment must be made 
at the time of submission. Anyone 
wishing to run a classified more than 
once must pay for each insertion & 
indicate the number of insertions on 
the submitted copy. Each classified 
must be typed, double-spaced & 
worded exactly as it should appear. 
Deadlines are the 8th of each month, 
two months prior to the cover date 
(e.g. January 8 for the March issue). 
Make check or money order — no cash, 
please — payable to FIVF, 625 Broad- 
way, 9th floor, New York, NY 1 001 2. 

Distribution 

ASIA SEEKING FILMS of various categories for 
distribution in Japan, HK, China, etc. Any type considered 
but emphasis on int'l topics. Send preview to: EDE Int'l 
c/o Wilson 3-22-6 #411 Kono Mansion-A Shirogane 
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108. 

GUIDANCE ASSOCIATES/Center for Humanities, 
leaders in educational film & video for 30 yrs, looking 
for new programs for upcoming catalogs. Areas: health, 
human behavior, social studies, lit., science, etc. Contact 
Will Goodman at (800) 43 1 - 1 242, ext. 23 1 . 

VARIED DIRECTIONS, distributor of child abuse & 
health tapes, seeks socially important films/videos. Long 
& successful track record due to selectivity & attention 
to programs we choose. Contact: Joyce (800) 888-5236, 
69 Elm St, Camden, ME 04843. 

QUALITY PRODS WANTED for worldwide distribu- 
tion. Interested producers send VHS for evaluation to: 
Chip Taylor Communications, 15 Spollett Dr., Derry, 
NH 03038. 

SEX! VIOLENCE! BRIBERY! You don't have to resort to 
these to bring attention to your project. You know it's 
good; we can help tell the people who need to know. 
MTN Assoc, Advertising/Marketing/PR, 1400 Arbor- 
view Blvd. Ann Arbor, MI 48103; (313) 761-3278. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for business mkt. Video 
Publishing House distributes videos in leadership, 
motivation, qual ity mgmt, cust sve & other mgmt issues. 
Julie Pfeiffer, Video Publishing House, 930 N. Nat'l 
Pkwy, Schaumburg, IL 60173; (800) 824-8889. 

ALTERNATIVE FILMWORKS, nat'l distributor of exp. 
narrative & docs, seeks work. No mainstream films, 
please. Send VHS, Hi8 or 8mm copy to: Alternative 
Filmworks, Dept IC, 259 Oakwood Ave, State College, 
PA 16803; (814) 867-1528. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational mkts. 



Educational Productions distributes videos on early 
childhood education, special ed & parent ed. Linda 
Freedman, Educational Productions, 74 1 2 SW Beaverton 
Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, OR 97225. (800) 950-4949. 

INT'L FEST OF SHORT FILMS 1 st feature-length pkg of 
live-action shorts now touring N. America. Seeks films 
for future pkgs. Contact: Andalusian Pictures, 1081 
Camino del Rio S., #1 19, San Diego, CA 92108; (800) 
925-CINE; fax: (619) 497-081 1. 

NEW DAY FILMS, self-distribution coop for ind. 
producers, celebrates its 20th anniv. & seeks new 
members w/ social issue docs for U.S. nontheatrical 
mkts. Deadline: April 1, 1993. Contact: New Day Films, 
121W.27St,Ste902,NewYork,NY10001;(212)645- 
8548. 

TAPESTRY INT'L, distributor of independently prod- 
uced programs, currently seeks new product for world- 
wide television distribution. Contact: Lisa Honig. 
Tapestry Int'l, 920 Broadway, New York, NY 10010; 
(212) 677-6007; fax: (212) 473-8164. Incl. SASE. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational & health care 
markets. Fanlight Productions distributes films/videos 
in areas of health, sociology, psychology, etc. Brenda 
Shanley, Fanlight Prods, 47 Halifax St, Boston, MA 
02130; (617) 524-0980. 

SPECIAL INTEREST VIDEO CATALOG where the 
producer makes all the profit. Catalog has exposure of 
over a million potential buyers. For free info., write: 
Special Interest Catalog, P.O. Box 4 1 0793, Kansas City, 
MO 64141; (816) 753-0333 & leave mailing address. 

CS ASSOCIATES, w/ 19 years experience, represents 
independents in foreign & domestic TV & video markets. 
We seek new programs of all types. Send preview 
cassette to 102 E. Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, CA 
94941; (415) 383-6060. 

Freelancers 

AWARD-WINNING CAMERAMAN w/ 16mm Aaton, 
Betacam SP & Steadicam looking for challenging 
projects. Partial client list: ABC Sports, Atlantic Records, 
IBM, Pitney Bowes, Wilderness Society. Complete 
crews avail. Reasonable rates. Mike Carmine (7 1 8) 352- 
1287. 

MOOD SWINGS, real life, nuance & passion... (these are 
a few of my favorite things). Composer/producer with 
national network credits seeks film/video projects. Own 
digital facility for acoustic/electronic scores. Steve 
Raskin (212) 219-1620. 

BETACAM SP: Award-winning cameraman w/ BVW 
507 field pkg. will work w/in your budget. Equip, pkg. 
incl. Vinten tripod, DP kit, wide-angle lens, Neuman 
KMR81, Lavs & Toyota 4-Runner. BVP7/BVW 35 
pkg. & full postprod. services. Hal (201) 662-7526. 

BETACAM SP. $450/day. Cameraman w/ Ikegami HL 
79E/BVW-35SP looking for interesting short-term 
projects. Corp., industrial, doc. Incl. tripod, inics, monitor, 
lighting. 5-passenger van incl. 3/4" Sony off-line editing 
suite, $15/hr. Tom (212) 279-7003. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Aaton pkg (super 16 com- 
patible ) including Zeiss super speeds. Good rates. Credits 
incl. docs, music videos, commercial, narratives. Call to 
see reel. Eliot (212) 979-5372. 

EXPERIENCEDCOMPOSER avail, to write/orchestrate 
music for film, video, doc. Versatile, insightful, works 



46 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



w/in deadline. Has own MIDI studio. NY & vicinity. 
Demo tape & resume avail. Kahn-Ellis (215) 725-3816. 

GERMAN CINEMATOGRAPHER, award-winning, 
avail, in New York area. Owner of 16mm Aaton pkg. 
incl. Zeiss Superspeeds. Will travel. Wolfgang Held 
(212)620-0029. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, talent & 
experience. Credits incl. features, commercials, indus- 
trials, docs, short & music videos. Film & Betacam pkgs 
avail. Check out my reel. Bob (212) 255-8868. 

BETACAM SP LOCATION PKG w/ technician, S400/ 
day. Incl. lights, mics & Sachler tripod. Same but non- 
SP Beta, 3/4" or Hi8, $300. Also avail.: window dubs, 
Betacam, Hi8, VHS & 3/4". Electronic Visions (212) 
691-0375. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY, frequent contributor 
to Legal Brief columns in The Independent & other 
mags, offers legal svcs to film & video community on 
projects from development thru distribution. Reasonable 
rates. Contact Robert L. Siegel, Esq., (212) 545-9085. 

JOHN TAYLOR please contact Urban Video Project if 
interested in spring 1993 project. (212) 677-8900. Liz 
Anderson. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR. 35BL, superspeed 
lenses, 3-chip camera & BVU 150 deck sound equip., 
lighting van. Passport. Certified Scuba diver, French, a 
little Spanish. Features, commercials, music videos. 
Call (212) 929-7728. 

BVW-400 BETA SP W/ ENGINEER. Croizel matte box, 
Fujinon 18 x 8.5, CRT synch unit, (2) hi-res monitors, 
Tektronix 1740 waveform/vectorscope. Sachtler 20, 
great audio pkg. Clients incl. AT&T, Turner, NBC. 
Don't call if price only concern. (212)595-7464. 

STEADICAM for film & video. Special rates for inds. 
Call Sergei Franklin at (212) 228-4254. 

BETACAM SP field prod, w/ Sony Broadcast B VW 400 
camcorder, best & most light-sensitive camera avail. 
Complete sound, lighting, grip equip, incl. stabilizer for 
steadicam-style shots. Exp. DP & crew. Color correction 
& full editing avail. (212) 226-7686. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY avail, for dramatic 16 
or 35mm productions of any length. Credits include 
Metropolitan. Call to see my reel. John Thomas (201) 
783-7360. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 35mm Arriflex 
BL, Zeiss Superspeeds, zoom, video tap & lighting/grip. 
Exp. shooting in Mexico & Philippines. Feature, 
commercial & music video credits. Call to see my reel. 
Blain (212) 279-0162. 

HOME OR ABROAD: Prod, company w/ int'l exp. fully 
outfitted w/ compact Sony Hi8 gear/film-style audio 
ready to work in far & distant lands. Can take your 
project from preprod. through the final edit. Call Dan 
(212)628-0178. 

HI8 PRODUCTION & EDITING. 1- & 3-chip cameras, 
Steadycam Jr. Cameramen. Edit w/ digital efx, frame 
accuracy & slow motion w/ Sony EVO 9700. Dubs to & 
from 3/4" & SVHS. Film transfers. Low rates. (718) 
482-0962 or beep (212) 461-0063. 

WORD PROCESSING manuscripts/grants/proposals. 
Fast, literate, publishing & foundation experience. 
Equipment: Macintosh SE & Microsoft Word version 
4.0; Dictaphone. Reasonable rates. Call/fax it! (718) 
596-4326. 



CLASSIFIED RATE INCREASE BEGINS JANUARY 1993 

Buy 5 or More Ads Now at 1992 Rates 

As of the March 1993 issue, the Independent will raise its classified advertising rates from 
$20 to $25 per ad. Through February 8, the magazine will offer a substantial discount 
to long-term advertisers. Advertise in 5 or more issues beginning with the March 
issue and pay just $20 per classified. To qualify for thediscount, checks must be 
received by February 8, 1993- 

NEW RATES W/DISCOUNT 

5 issues (beginning March 1993 issue) $125 $100 

6 issues $150 $120 

7 issues $175 $140 

8 issues $200 $160 

9 issues $225 $180 

10 issues (one full year) $250 $200 



Buyers and Sellers 
of Surplus Film 



Fuji Film 



16 &35mm Color 

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Student Discounts 



FUJI Film is 15% off. 
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Camera Negatives 



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THE INDEPENDENT 47 



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POST PRODUCTION SERVICES (Editing rates per hour) 

Beta-Beta edit $75 HI8-Beta edit $75 

3/4-3/4 edit $55 HI8-3/4 edit $55 

3/4-3/4 self edit $35 VHS-VHS self edit $10 

Beta-Beta w/HI8 or 3/4 source in 3 machine system w/effects $95 

Amiga character generator pre-session $40 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $20 

Miicrogen character generator in session (in addition to edit) $10 

1 hour minimum on all editing services 



TIME CODE SERVICES (Rates per hour, 

Beta Time Code Generation $60 H 18 & 3/4 Time Code Generation ... $35 

Beta to VHS Burn-in $60 HI8 & 3/4 to VHS Burn-in $35 

1 hour minimun on all time code services 

PRODUCTION SERVICES (Daily rates/Broadcast) 

Betacam SP E.N.G. package w/crewof two $850 

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BETACAM PKG (reg. or SP) w/ Iripod, lights, mics, 
shotgun & van avail. Award-winning cameraman & 
crew avail. Fast & reliable. Broadcast quality. Call Eric 
(718)389-7104. 

CAMERAMAN w/ equip. Credits incl. 4 features (35 & 
16mm), news & doc (CBS, BBC, PBS), ads, industrials 
& music vids. 16mm & Betacam pkgs w/ lights, mics, 
ere w & van. Strong visual sense. Personable & reasonable 
rates. Call tor demo. Eric (718) 389-7104. 

THE SCREENPLAY DOCTOR & the Movie Mechanic- 
Professional story analysts/postprod. specialists will 
analyze your screenplay or treatment & evaluate your 
film-in-progress. Major studio & ind. background. 
Reasonable rates. (212) 219-9224. 

Preproduction 

SCRIPT SUPERVISION WORKSHOP: Jan IS. 16. 17 
(Fri. eve. 5:30-9:30, Sat. & Sun. 9-6) in New York City 
w/ Lynne Twenty man, IATSE 161 871 (credits incl. 
Doc Hollywood, All That Jazz). Covers feature film, 
series TV & commercials. $295/session. Limited 
enrollment. (212) 580-0677. 

I WANT YOUR SCREENPLAY. Determined ind. 
filmmaker seeks property for prod. Any styleconsidcrcd: 
dramatic, comic, unusual, mainstream. Fresh writing 
stands out from the pack. Submit yours to: The Kessler 
Company, Box 976, Village Station, NY, NY 10014. 

PRODUCTION DESIGNER, costume designer, sound 
mixer/designer, gaffer & editor sought for low-budget 
feature film to be shot in Hawaii in May/June 1 993. Send 
resumes to: Lisa Onodera, 626 1/2 Santa Monica Blvd. 
Ste 204, Santa Monica, CA 90401. 

AWARD-WINNING SREENWRITER seeks angel to help 

jump-start hisdirecting career. Has extensive background 
in film production & has directed several shorts. Now 
it's time for a feature & I have some good scripts! If you 
are up to it. contact: Kyle Michel Sullivan (713) 528- 
7456, P.O. Box 460362, Houston, TX 77056-8362. 

FORTY ACRES & A MULE FILMWORKS now accepting 
scripts for development. Submit feature manuscripts to: 
Forty Acres & a Mule Filmworks, Story Development 
Dept, 124 DeKalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 1 1217. 

Postproduction 

16MM EDITING ROOM, great location, very low rates. 
Fully equipped w/ 6-plate Stccnbcck, 24-hr access, in 
East Village, safe & clean bldg. Daily, weekly or monthly 
rentals. Call Su at (212) 475-7186 or (718) 782-1920. 

SUPER 8MM EILM-TO-VIDEO transfer. To 1", Beta, 
Hi8, 3/4". VHS. Slo-mo, freeze, toaster EFX also. 
Standard 8, slides, 16mm also. Broadcast quality, low 
rates, personal service. Super 8 camera rental & music- 
cinematography. Landyvision (914) 679-7046. 

3/4" SONY OFF-LINE editing sys. delivered to you & 
installed: $500/wk; $l,600/mo. 5850, 5800, RM440, 
Teac mixer, amplifier, 2 monitors, 2 speakers, black 
generator. Or edit in my space, 30th & 8th Ave. Betacam 
SP prod, pkg, $450/day. Tom (212) 279-7003. 

3/4" SONY OFF-LINE editing system w/ comfortable 
office, telephone, fax machine, VHS viewing, many 
extras. West 72nd St location. Call (212) 580-2727. 

EDIT IN THE COUNTRY. 3/4" SP Sony video edit 
system & two fully-equipped 16mm edit rooms w/ 



48 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



Steenbeck & Kem. Office/living space in brick Victorian. 
Edit help & production package available. Reasonable 
rates. GMP Films (413) 863-4754. 

YOUR PLACE OR MINE? Betacam SP System w/ Sony 
910 controller $2,250/wk, $500/day; 3/4" 5850's w/ 
convergence controller (search + audio TC) $500/wk. 
Studio 1 hr from NYC w/ guest rm or delivered to you 
for fee. Also BVW 50 field recorder $150/day. (203) 
227-8569. 

DAILIES IN SYNC DAILY: 16 or 35mm prepared 
overnight for coding or transfer to tape. Precision 
guaranteed. $30/400' (1000') camera roll. Student rates 
& pick up/delivery avail. Call NY's only Downtown 
Dailies Service (212) 431-9289. 

OFF-LINE in comfort & privacy w/ or w/out editor on 
JVC hi-fi VHS sys. Can make window dub transfers 
from Betacam, Hi8 or 3/4" to hi-fi VHS. Call Dan at 
EDITH! (212) 628-0178. 

3/4" OFF-LINE VIDEO system w/ time-code reader/ 
generator. Comfortable, economical, convenient 
downtown location. Call (212) 941-1695. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY: Super 8 & regular 8mm 
film-to-video masters, scene-by-scene to 1 " & Betacam. 
By appointment only. New tel.: (508) 948-7985. 

OFF-LINE AT HOME! Will rent 2 Sony 5850s w/RM.440 
or RM450 edit controller & monitors. Low monthly 
rates, $650/wk. Answer your own phone & cut all night 
if you like! Betacam SP location crews avail., too. John 
(212) 245-1364 or 226-7686. 

16MM EDITING ROOM & OFFICE space for rent in 
suite of inds. Fully equipped w/6-plate Steenbeck & 24- 
hr access. All windowed & new carpet. Located at W. 
24th St & 7th Ave. Reasonable rates. Call Jeff at Film 
Partners (212) 366-5101. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate & 6-plate fully 
equipped rooms, sound transfer facilities, 24-hr access. 
Downtown, near all subways & Canal St Reasonable, 
negotiable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

NEGATIVE MATCHING: 16 or 35mm. 40 yrs exp., all 
work guaranteed! Will beat any competitor's price. 
Video matchback to the AVID 1 Composer. Northeast 
Negative Matchers (41 3) 736-2 1 77 or (800) 370-CUTS. 
Now accepting AMEX, VISA & MC. 

EDIT AT YOUR PLACE: 3/4" off-line system avail, for 
rent at highly competitive price. Call (212) 947-8433. 



FIVF THANKS 

The Foundation for Independent Video and Film 
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including publication of The Independent, main- 
tenance of the Festival Bureau, seminars, and 
workshops, and an information clearinghouse. 
None of this work would be possible without the 
generous support of the following individuals and 
businesses: 
Benefactors ($1,000+): 

Mr. Irwin W. Young 
Sponsors ($250+): 

Ms. Jeanine Basinger, Mr. Daniel Edelman, 

Mr. Robert Richter, Mr. George Stoney, 

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 49 



Conferences ■ Seminars 

AMERK w I II \i & \ ID1 o ASSOCIATION celebrates 

SOthanniv. in 1993. Special events incl. 35th American 
Film & Video Festival & Conference. May 26-30, 
Chicago. Theme: New Technologies: The Frontiers of 
Media Production w/ demos of new tech; workshops on 
intellectual freedom, copyright/fair use; library security 
systems, etc. Contact: AFVA, Box 48659, Niles. IL 
60714: (708)698-6440. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TELEVISION offers 

workshops on S-VHS& 3/4" editing (starting Jan. 1 1 )& 
intensive 12-wk Video Doc Production (starting Feb. 
17). Cost: S100 & $400, respectively. Also, free 3-day 
Basic TV Production Workshop (also in Chinese) w/ 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network. For DCTV/MNN 
TV workshop, contact: (212) 260-2670; for seminars 
contact: DCTV. 87 Lafayette St, New York. NY 1 00 1 3; 
(212)966-4510. 

ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY'S Fast 
Rewind: Archaeology of Moving Images Conference, 
July 22-25, Rochester, NY, seeks panel/paper proposals 
& works for screening. Third int'l conference on moving 
image preservation provides forum on teaching, 
financing, research & exchange. Deadline: March 1 . For 
submission info: RIT, College of Liberal Arts, Bruce 
Austin, William Kern Professor in Commun., 1 Lomb 
Memorial Drive. Box 9887, Rochester, NY 14623- 
0887; (716) 475-6649. To register: (716) 475-6649. 

UNIVERSITY FILM AND VIDEO ASSOCIATION'S 47th 

Annual Conference seeks proposals for panels/papers, 
media writing (i.e., treatments, doc proposals, screen- 
plays) & screenings. Students & nonstudents invited to 
submit materials & participate in conference. Panel 
topics inch: Post Colonialism & Diaspora Culture; 
Ethical, Creative & Pedagogical Implications of New 
Tech; Freedom of Speech: Access to Tech; Freedom, 
Censorship & Funding; Contested Territory: Bodies on 
Screen. Deadline: January 31. For appls, contact: Jeff 
Rush, Radio-TV-Film, Temple Univ., Philadelphia. PA, 
19122; (215) 787-3859; fax: (215) 787-5280. 

WORKSHOP FOR VIDEOMAKERS: "Fieldwork" is a 
forum to show works-in-progress & receive informed 
feedback from other media artists. 10 wks, Thurs. 6-8 
p.m., beg. Jan. 14. Final screening at The Kitchen. $60. 
For more info, call The Field, (212) 691-6969. 

Films ■ Tapes Wanted 

ARTISTS' TELEVISION ACCESS accepts 1-pg. pro- 
posals for video installations on politics, media, social 
org./control & gender issues. 8' x 7' space faces storefront 
window. Esp. interested in local artists. Samples of past 
video work helpful. Contact: ATA, 992 Valencia, San 
Francisco, CA 941 10; Attn: Sean Ryan. 

VXELGR1 \se. wkly public access program, seeks 
exper., narrative, animation, doc & computer imaging 
under 27 min. Showcases video & film on Buffalo 
access & around US. Send 1/2", 3/4", Beta, 8mm, or Hi8 
tapes to: Axlegrea.se. c/o Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo Media 
Resources. 372 Connecticut St., Buffalo, NY 14213; 
(716)884-7172. 

It \l) I \\ IS, NY-based production/exhibition collective, 
seeks films under 30 min. for ongoing programs in 
Europe & US. Alternative approaches to all genres & 
forms welcomed. Must have finished 16mm prints avail. 
Submit VHS only for preview; incl. SASE for return. 
Contact: Bad Twin, Box 528, Cooper Station, New 



Notices are listed free of charge. AIVF 
members receive first priority; others 
are included as space permits. The 
Independent reserves the right to edit 
for length. Deadlines for Notices will 
be respected. These are the 8th of the 
month, two months prior to cover date 
(e.g., January 8 for the March issue). 
Send to: Independent Notices, FIVF, 
625 Broadway, NY, NY 10012. 

York, NY 10276. 

CABLE ACCESS SHOW seeks short drama, doc, anima- 
tion & experimental films/videos. Interested parties 
should send 3/4" copies to: Quick Flicks c/o Eugene 
Haynes,81410thAve,#3A,NY,NY10019orcaIl(212) 
642-5236. 

.CATHODE CAFE seeks short video art interstitials to 
play btwn alternative music videos on Seattle's TCI/ 
Viacom Channel 29, Sundays 9:30 p.m. Format: 3/4" 
preferred; 1/2" ok. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 Aiki 
Ave, SW #305, Seattle, WA 981 16; (206) 937-2353. 

CENTER FOR NEW TV (CNTV) seeks 3/4", VHS or Hi8 
work for cable access show. Contact: CNTV, 1440 N. 
Dayton St., Chicago, IL 60622. 

CENTRAL AMERICAN NEWS PROJECT seeks indivs 
to produce news & public affairs pieces for monthly 
access show on Central America. Contribute footage or 
contacts w/ people in CA w/ film or video equip. 
Contact: Carol Yourman, 362 Washington St, Cam- 
bridge, MA 02139; (617) 492-8719. 

CINEMA EXPERIMENTO. monthly program of 
experimental & avant-garde shorts, seeks work on 1 6 & 
35mm (30 min. max). Send work or preview tapes on 
VHS or U-matic w/ return postage to: Pike Street Cinema, 
1108 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101. For more info., 
contact: Jon Behrens or Galen Young; (206) 682-7064. 

COMEDY CENTRAL seeks comedic, short student/tnd. 
films/videos under 3 min. to air on its flagship program, 
Short Attention Span Theater. No fees. Submit VHS or 
3/4" tapes to: Josh Lebowitz, HBO Downtown Prods, 
1 20 E. 23rd St, 6th fl., NY, NY 10010; (212) 5 1 2-885 1 . 

DEEP DISH TV (DDTV) seeks participants for its 1993 
spring season on healthcare: propose a special project 
for distribution, a tape for screening or tape compilation 
on a topic of your choice. Topics might incl. nat'l 
healthcare, reproductive freedom, holistic alternatives, 
healthcare in prison, environmental health, AIDS, etc. 
Let us know how your community is using technology 
for empowerment. For more info, contact: DDTV, 
Cynthia Lopez, programming director, 339 Lafayette 
St, New York, NY 10012. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV CENTER (DCTV) 

accepts 3/4" Beta & VHS tapes for open screenings & 
special series w/ focus on women, Middle East, gay/ 



lesbian. Native American, labor & Asian art. Contact: 
Tanya Steele, DCTV, 87 Lafayette St. NY, NY 10013; 
(212)941-1298. 

FLICKTURES seeks 2-5 min. comedy prods, any genre, 
any style, to air on L.A. cable access; possible deferred 
pay. Send 3/4". 1/2". Beta or super 8 w/ SASE to: 
Flicktures. c/o Barker/Morgan Prods, 12039 Allin St, 
Culver City, CA 90230-5802. 

IV-TV, wkly half-hour video shorts program in Seattle, 
seeks mini-docs, video art, found footage, news leaks. 
Contact: John Goodfellow or David Moore, IV-TV, 
2010 Minor E., Ste B, Seattle, WA 98102. 

LA PLAZA, wkly doc series on WGBH, Boston, seeks 
original works by ind. film/videomakers w/ themes 
relevant to Latinos. Contact: La Plaza/Acquisitions, 
WGBH, 125 Western Ave, Boston, MA 02134. 

LESBIANS IN THE CREATIVE ARTS (LICA) invites 
submissions of original works for an Evening w/ LICA 
video cabaret. Artists must own all rights. Contact: 
Video, Ste 443, 496A Hudson St, NY, NY 10014. 

MINORITY TELEVISION PROJECT, Bay Area multi- 
cultural public TV station, invites programming from 
independent directors, producers & writers who have 
person of color in key creative position & present 
crosscultural perspectives. Children's, entertainment, 
animation, features, health, education & lifestyles sought. 
Submit 1/2" or 3/4" tapes (orig. must be on 3/4" or l"for 
broadcast) to: Roger Gordon, 71 Stevenson St, Ste 1900, 
San Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 882-5566. 

NATIVE VOICES seeks proposals for 2 half-hour cultural 
affairs progs by /for Montana Native Americans. Contact: 
Native Voices Public TV Workshop, Depl. of Film & 
TV, Montana State Univ., Bozeman, MT 59717; (406) 
994-6223. 

NOMAD VIDEO seeks works from videomakers of all 
ages, backgrounds & skill levels for monthly screenings. 
Screenings showcase grassroots artists at changing 
locations around Seattle area. Send VHS, S-VHS or Hi8 
& SASE to: Gavin the Nomad, 501 N. 36lh St, #365, 
Seattle, WA 98103; (206) 781-0653. 

PERALTA COLLEGES TV (PCTV), multicultural edu- 
cational station reaching 200,000 homes in Oakland- 
Berkeley area, seeks challenging social-issue docs & 
culturally diverse TV programs. Rare alternative outlet 
in Bay area. Excellent exposure. Submit 3/4" or VHS 
tape w/ short description & letter granting local cablecast 
rights to: PCTV programming, 900 Fallon St, Oakland, 
CA 94607; (510) 464-3253. 

PMS (POST-MODERN SISTERS), nat'ly touring exhi- 
bition program, looking for innovative & challenging 
shorts by women for future programs. Contact: Lisa 
Austin, (415) 648-3810 or Susanne Fairfax, (41 5)751 - 
3507. 

REAL ART WAYS seeks entries for April screening 
series featuring CT independent video & filmmakers. 
Cats: open. No industrials, educational, promotional 
music videos or commercial prods. 60-min. limit (single 
titles or short titles compiled on single tape). Nominal 
fee paid for work; distributor attn. Deadline: March 1. 
Send VHS for prc-screening, 50-word description per 
title, bio/resume, b+w publicity photo & $ 1 5 to: Real Art 
Ways, 56 Arbor St, Hartford, CT 06106. 

REEL TIME, monthly film series at Performance Space 
122, seeks experimental, doc & narrative films. Submit 
super 8 & 16 mm to: Jim Browne, c/o Reel Time, P.S. 
1 22, 1 50 1 st Ave, NY, NY 1 0009; (212) 477-5288. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION seeks film/ 
video works for 1993-94 Southern Circuit, 6-artist tour 
of 8 southern states in lOdays. No appl. Submit VHS, 3/ 
4" or 16mm of at least 45 min. w/ resume & publicity for 
prescreening. Deadline: Jan. 15. Contact: SCAC, Media 
Arts Center, 1800 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29210; 
Ann: Susan Leonard, acting director. 

THE 90's CABLE CHANNEL seeks programs that bring 
alt. perspective to issues. Network of 8 full-time cable 
channels reaches 500,000 homes. Contact: Laura 
Brenton, 1007 Pearl St, #260, Boulder, CO 80302. 

THE 90's seeks short (under 15 min.) doc, music & 
experimental Hi8 works for nat'l broadcast. Excerpts, 
works-in-progress accepted. Pays $150/min. Contact: 
Fund for Innovative TV, 400 N. Michigan Ave, #1608. 
Chicago, IL 6061 1; (312) 321-9321. 

TOONTOWN RATS, Artists Television Access' new 
animation forum, seeks animated shorts. Send 
submissions to: Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia 
St., San Francisco, CA 94 1 1 0; or contact Keith Knight, 
(415) 752-4037/824-3890. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, cablecast on Drexel Univ.'s 
channel 54, seeks narrative, animation, experimental, 
performance & doc works by young filmmakers from 
Philly & elsewhere. Show reaches 767,000 households 
in 3 states. Contact: Unquote TV, c/o DUTV, 33rd & 
Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895-2927. 

VIDEO SHORTS, nat'l competition of video artworks, 
announces 1 2th annual round. Accepting entries in 3/4", 
3/4" SP, VHS, S-VHS, 8mm, & Hi8 formats, NTSC 
standard only. 6-min. limit. Entry fee: $20/piece & $10 
for each add'l on same cassette. Max. 3 pieces/person. 
Submit to General or Computer Animation categories. 
Entries postmarked by Feb. 1 . Min. 1 winners get S 1 00 
& works mastered on 1". Contact: Video Shorts, Box 
20369, Seattle, WA 98102; (206) 325-8449. 

WILLOW MIXED MEDIA seeks Amiga-based works 
for Amiga Artists on the Air, program distributed on 
cable access & video. Small fee. Submit material on 3.5" 
Amiga disks, VHS, 3/4" tape to: Toby Carey, Willow 
Mixed Media, Box 194, Lenox Ave, Glenford, NY 
12433; (914) 657-2914. 

WOMEN OF COLOR in Media Arts Database, seeks 
submissions of films & videos for database which incl. 
video filmographies, bibliographical info & biographical 
data. Contact: Helen Lee, Women of Color in Media 
Arts Database, Women Make Movies, 225 Lafayette St, 
Ste 207, NY, NY 10012; (212) 925-0606. 

WYBE's primetime series of independent film & video. 
Through the Lens, seeks fresh, dynamic works w/ unusual 
points of view for 3rd season on Philadelphia's innovative 
public TV station, channel 35. Works by & about 
women & people of diverse ethnic & cultural back- 
grounds encouraged. All genres & styles. Shorts to 30 
min. preferred. Fee: $25/min. Deadline: Jan. 29. For 
appl., contact: Through the Lens HI, WYBE TV 35, 
6117 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128. 

WYOU-TV, cable access station in Madison, WI, seeks 
music-related videos for wkly alternative music show. 
Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. No payment; videos credited. 
Contact: WYOU-TV, 140 W. Gilman St, Madison, WI 
53703. 

Opportunities ■ Gigs 

BOSTON SCHOOL OF MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS seeks 



filmmaker for F/T faculty position. Candidate must 
have strong background in 16mm production & will 
teach beginning & advanced classes. Special effects 
exp. helpful. Requires: screening & exhibition record; 
ability to work w/& teach wide variety of styles; 
familiarity w/ related disciplines (s-8, video, computers, 
etc.) desirable. Deadline: Jan. 15. Send resume, sample 
or video (VHS or 3/4"), statement of teaching philosophy, 
names of 3 refs familiar w/ work (incl. addresses & 
phone numbers) & SASE to: Dean's Office, Film Search, 
School of Museum of Fine Arts, 230 The Fenway, 
Boston, MA 021 15. EOE. 

CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF ARTS & CRAFTS seeks 
temp, instructors for 1993-94 academic year in 
Intermediate Film, Directing. Lighting & Animation 
(Fall 1993); Intermediate Video, Critical Projects-New 
Genres (Spring 1 994). Also considering Beginning Film/ 
Video. Deadline: February 1. Positions begin August 
30. Salary commensurate w/ exp. Requirements: MFA 
&/or record of professional accomplishment. Send letter, 
vitae, list of refs, tape or slides (no more than 20) w/ 
SASE to: FVP Search, c/o Human Resources, CCAC, 
5212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618. 

CAROLINA THEATRE PROJECT seeks film pro- 
grammer/manager for 3-screen, nonprofit complex. 
Deadline: Feb. 1. For info., contact: Carolina Theater, 
Box 1927, Durham, NC 27702; (919) 687-2748. 

HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE seeks visiting asst professor of 
film & photography for 1-yr, half-time sabbatical 
replacement beginning autumn 1993. Possible 1-yr, 
half-time renewal for 1 994-95. Requirements: Candidate 
should be active filmmaker w/ strong professional record 
& teaching exp; MFA or equiv. preferred. College 
emphasizes individ. instruction & collaborative 
interdisciplinary work & offers Third World studies 
program. Deadline: Feb. 1 . Submit letter, resume, names 
& addresses of 3 refs & sample of work in original 
format to: Film & Photography Search. Humanities & 
Arts, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, 01002. EOE. 
Women & minorities encouraged. 

ITHACA COLLEGE has narrative film production 
position avail, in Cinema & Photography Dept. of Roy 
H. Park School of Communications. F/T, tenure-eligible 
position starts August 15, 1993. Teach fiction film 
prod., directing & all levels of 16mm film prod. Must 
have PhD or MFA in film or related discipline; active 
ABDs also considered. Send resume, 3 refs to: Marcelee 
Pecot, chair. Film Production Search Committee, Dept 
of Cinema & Photography, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 
14850-7251; (607) 274-3242. 

LITTLE CITY FOUNDATION seeks P/T video art teacher 
to work w/de velopmentally challenged persons at media 
arts center in Palatine. IL. Nonprofit advocacy org 
serves children & adults w/ mental retardation, Down 
syndrome, autism, etc. No previous exp. working w/this 
population required. Requires: video prod, exp., B.A. in 
Fine Arts preferable, demonstrated understanding of 
other art forms w/ strong interest in visual, musical, 
conceptual & performing arts. Must have own trans. 
Salary commensurate w/exp. EOE. Deadline: Jan. 15. 
Send letter, resume, references & sample reel to: Human 
Resources, Little City Foundation, 1 760 West Algonquin, 
Palatine, IL 60067. No phone calls please. 

RICE UNIVERSITY seeks asst prof, of Media Studies for 
3-yr appointment, tenure-track for August 1993. Teach 
history, theory &/or criticism of film/photo &/or TV in 
2 or more areas: int'l/Third World media; experimental 
film/video/photo; or doc. Requires: PhD or MFA; com- 



Call For Entries 



SINKING 
CREEK 
HLNWIDEO 
FESTIVAL 



24th Sinking 

Creek 

Film/Video 

Festival 

16mm Film & 3/4" 

U-Matic Video 

all genre: documentary, 

animation, narrative, 

and experimental 

$8,000 in cash awards 
DEADLINE APRIL 23, 1993 

Festival: 

featuring workshops, seminars, 

special presentations, and 

open screenings* 

JUNE 19 -26 

Nashville, TN 

For Entry Forms and Registration 

Procedures: 

Sinking Creek Film/Video Festival 

Meryl Truett, Executive Director 

402 Sarratt Student Center 

Vanderbilt University 

Nashville, TN 37240 

(615)322-2471 or 322-4234 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 51 



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CASTILLO VIDEO 

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mitmenl to undergrad ed; interest in production preferred. 
Salary commensurate w/exp. Opps tor participation in 
interdisciplinary/cultural studies programs. Deadline: 
Jan. 10. Send vitae, 3 letters of rec. copies of pubs to: 
Brian Huberman. S.C. Rice University. Dept of Art & 
Art History, Box 1892. Houston. TX 77251. EOE. 

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY Dept of Radio-TV-Film seeks 

teacherofundergrad/grad writing, direction, production 
&/or film/video aesthetics. Requirements: Candidate's 
work should combine artistic vision w/ social concerns 
& awareness of media history, theory & aesthetics. PhD, 
MFA or equiv. Appl review continues til position filled. 
Send letter, vitae & names of 3 refs to: Professor Alan 
Wells, chair, personnel committee, Dept of Radio-TV- 
Film, Temple Univ., Philadelphia, PA 19122. 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT IRVINE Dept of 

Studio Art seeks videomaker w/ rank of ass't/assoc. 
professor. Candidates must have prod./screening record 
& teaching exp. Knowledge of computer imaging & 
MFA or equiv. desired. Candidates must be able to teach 
both undergrads & grads (teaching load is 2 courses/ 
quarter) & be willing to work on curriculum development 
as well as development of video facilities. Teaching 
duties begin September 1993. Appls should incl. vita, 
statement of teaching philosophy & adequate repres- 
entation of production, w/any necessary supplemental 
material, 4 letters & SASE. EEO. Direct appls or 
nominations for position to: Catherine Lord, chair, Dept 
of Studio Art, UC Irvine, CA 92717. 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO School of Art & 
Design invites appls for F/T, tenure-track position as 
asst prof or 3-yr appointment at rank of assoc. prof., 
depending on qualifications & funding. Begins Fall 
1993. Requirements: video portfolio, ability to teach 
undergrad & grad studio arts, MFA or equiv., higher 
education teaching exp &/or 3 yrs professional exp. w/ 
strong exhibition record. Salary commensurate w/exp. 
Deadline: Feb. 15. Send letter, vitae, at least 4 refs & 2 
video samples (labeled on container & tape) w/ descrip- 
tions. Installation work may be represented by max. of 
1 2 numbered & labeled 35mm slides in plastic sheet w/ 
description list incl. title, date, medium & location. 
Collaborative works must be identified as such. Send 
dubs only & SASE for return. Contact: Judith Kirshner, 
Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, School of Art & Design, 
929 West Harrison St., Rm 106JH, Chicago, IL 60607- 
7038. EOE. Women & minorities encouraged. 

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Dept of Radio- 
TV-Film has 2 positions open: production & screen- 
writing. Prod, requires MFA, PhD & strong record. 
Screenwriting requires teaching experience; prod. 
teaching skills desired. Submit 1-pg. teaching philosophy. 
Send cover, resume, sample work (on VHS ) or screenplay 
& 3 letters to: Faculty Search Committee, Production/ 
Screenwriting, Dept of Radio-TV-Film, Univ. of Texas 
at Austin, Austin, TX 787 1 2- 1 09 1 . 

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSON-MAMSON seeks tenure- 
track ass't professor in Television Studies for fall 1 993. 
Looking for scholars w/ expertise in history, industry 
studies, policy & regulation, audiences, int'l & inter- 
cultural studies, media & cultural theory. Should be able 
to teach undergrad. courses in one or more areas & grad. 
seminar. PhD required. Deadline: Jan. 15. Women & 
minorities encouraged. Send inquiries & vita, 3 letters & 
samples to: Prof. Vance Kepley, Dept of Communi- 
cation Arts, 6110 Vilas Hall, Univ. of Wisconsin- 
Madison, Madison, WI 53706. 



52 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



The Association 
of Independent 
Video and 
Filmmakers 



7(h 



THE INDEPENDENT 

Membership provides you with a years 
subscription to The Independent. Pub- 
lished 10 times a year, the magazine is 
a vital source of information about the 
independent media field. Each issue 
helps you get down to business with 
festival listings, funding deadlines, ex- 
hibition venues, and more. Plus, you'll 
find thought-provoking features, 
coverage of the field's news, and 
regular columns on business, techni- 
cal, and legal matters. 

THE FESTIVAL BUREAU 

ATVF maintains up-to-date information 
on over 650 national and international 
festivals, and can help you determine 
which are right for your film or video. 

Liaison Service 

ATVF works directly with many foreign 
festivals, in some cases collecting and 
shipping tapes or prints overseas, in 
other cases serving as the U.S. host to 
visiting festival directors who come to 
preview work. 

Tape Library 

Members can house copies of their 
work in the ATVF tape library for 
screening by visiting festival program- 
mers. Or make your own special 
screening arrangements with ATVF. 

INFORMATION SERVICES 

Distribution 

In person or over the phone, ATVF can 
provide information about distributors 
and the kinds of films, tapes, and 
markets in which they specialize. 



hen you join the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, you're doing something for yourself — and for 
others. Membership entitles you to a wide range of benefits. 
Plus, it connects you with a national network of independent 
producers. Adding your voice helps us all. The stronger AIVF 
is, the more we can act as advocate for the interests of inde- 
pendents like yourself — inside the corridors of Washington, 
with the press, and with others who affect our livelihoods. 



f$ Seaefcte <*£ Tfteattfenddtfi 



ATVF's Member Library 
Our library houses information on dis- 
tributors, funders. and exhibitors, as 
well as sample contracts, funding ap- 
plications, budgets, and other matters. 

SEMINARS 

Our seminars explore current busi- 
ness, aesthetic, legal, and technical 
topics, giving independent producers a 
valuable forum to discuss relevant 
issues. 



BOOKS AND TAPES 

AIVF has the largest mail order catalog 
of media books and audiotaped se- 
minars in the U.S. Our list covers all 
aspects of film and video production. 
And we're constantly updating our 
titles, so independents everywhere 
have access to the latest media infor- 
mation. We also publish a growing list 
of our own titles, covering festivals, 
distribution, and foreign and domestic 
production resource guides. 

continued 




AIVF 

625 Broadway 
9th floor 
New York, NY 
10012 



ADVOCACY 

Whether it's freedom of expression, 
public funding levels, public 'IV. 
contractual agreements, cable 
legislation, or other issues that affect 
nidi-pendent producers. AfVF is 
there working for you. 

INSURANCE 

Production Insurance 
A production insurance plan, tailor- 
made for AJVF members and cover- 
ing public liability, faulty film and 
tape, equipment, sets, scenery, 
props, and extra expense, is avail- 
able, as well as an errors and omis- 
sions policy with unbeatable rates. 

Equipment Insurance 
Equipment coverage for all of your 
equipment worldwide whether owned 
or leased. 

Group Health, Disability, and Lite 
Insurance Plans with TEIGIT 
A1YF currently offers two health 
insurance policies, so you're able to 
find the one that best suits your 
needs. 



Dental Plan 

Reduced rates for dental coverage are 
available to NYC and Boston-area 
members. 

DEALS AND DISCOUNTS 

Service Discounts 

In all stages of production and in most 
formats. AIVF members can take ad- 
vantage of discounts on equipment 
rentals, processing, editing services, 
and other production necessities. 

Nationwide Car Rentals 

AIVF membership provides discounts 
on car rentals from major national 
rental agencies. 

Mastercard Plan 

Credit cards through the Maryland 
Bank are available to members with a 
minimum annual income of $18,000. 
Fees are waived the first year. 

Facets Multimedia Video Rentals 

AIVF members receive discounts on 
membership and mail-order video 
rentals and sales from this Chicago- 
based video rental organization. 



Join AJVF today and get a one-year subscription to The Independent. 



Rates 

(Canada. Mexico. US. PR) 

J $25/student (enclose copy of 

student ID] 
J $45/individual 

J S75/Hbrary 

J sioo/nonprofit organization 

J 8150/business & industry 

_l Add S 18 for 1st class mailing 



Foreign Rates 

(Outside North America) 

LI $40/student (enclose copy of 
student ID) 

□ $60/individual 

□ $90/library 

□ $1 15/nonprofit organization 
J $165/business & industry 

□ Add $55 for foreign air mail 



\anu 



Organization 

Address 

City 

State 



Zip. 



Country 

I r-lrplinnr 



Professional Status (e.g.. dir.) 

92 



Enclosed is check or money order. 
Or. please bill my: □ visa 

_l Mastercard 

ACCOUNT » 
EXPIRATION DATE 
SIGNATURE 

Charge by phone: (212) 473-3400. 



(fat* /4W? 7<xUy m 

Five thousand members strong, 
the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers has been 
working for independent produc- 
ers — providing information, fight- 
ing for artists' rights, securing 
funding, negotiating discounts, 
and offering group insurance 
plans. Join our growing roster. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual membership 

10 issues of The Independent 
Access to all plans and discounts 
Festival/ Distribution/Library services 
Information services 
Discounted admission to seminars 
Tape and publication discounts 
Advocacy campaign participation 
Free Motion Picture Enterprises Guide 
Vote and run for office on board of 
directors 

m Student membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except to vote and run fo: 
board of directors 

Library membership 

10 issues of The Independent 

Festival/ Distribution/ Library services 

Information services 

Free MPE Guide 

PLUS: Special notice of upcoming 

publications 

Nonprofit Organizational membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except to vote and run fo 
board of directors 
PLUS: Includes up to 3 individuals 

Business /Industry membership 

All the benefits of individual 

membership except to vote and run fo 

board of directors 

PLUS: Special mention in The 

Independent 

Includes up to 3 individuals 



Publications 

CENSORSHIP & FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS: A 
PRIMER incl. collection of case studies & cases w/ 
listing of anti-censorship orgs & section on defending 
1st Amendment rights. Send $10 to: American 
Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression, 
560 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY 10591. 

DIRECTORY OF WOMEN'S MEDIA, 16th ed., announ- 
ces new feminist info tools. Published by Women's Inst, 
for Freedom of the Press, directory incl. brief descrip- 
tions of over 1 ,300 print & electronic media, publishers, 
bookstores, libraries, archives, distributors & other media 
resources for, by & about women. Nat'l Council for 
Research on Women, 47-49 East 65th St, New York, 
NY 10021; (212) 570-5001. 

DISC MAKERS GUIDE TO MASTER TAPE PREPAR- 
ATION avail, free upon request from Philadelphia- 
based audio manufacturer. 45-page booklet, revised & 
updated for 1992, explains how to prepare master tape 
for error-free mass production. All formats covered, 
including all-new section on DAT. Contact: Tony van 
Veen, (800) 468-9353. 

ELECTRONIC ARTIST GROUP publishes Electronic 
Marketplace, a resource guide w/ ads for animators, 
interactive & multimedia producers, electronic svc. 
bureaus, computer illustrators, etc. Send $3 to EAG. 
Box 580783, Minneapolis, MN 55458. 

GUIDE TO PUBLIC TELEVISION FUNDING published 
by Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help producers 
understand program funding. Send SASE (# 1 envelope) 
to: Who Funds PTV?, CPB Publications, 901 E. St, NW, 
Washington, DC 20004-2006; (202) 879-9600. 

IN HER OWN IMAGE: Films & Videos Empowering 
Women for the Future, singled out as best new media 
publication of 1992 by American Film & Video Assoc, 
features reviews of more than 80 works exploring wide 
range of issues affecting women around world, indexed 
by geography, subject, title & appropriate audience. 
Includes essays on int'l women's issues & uses of media 
for social change in community & classroom. Avail, 
from Media Network, (212) 929-2663. 

MONEY FOR FILM & VIDEO ARTISTS, published by 
American Council for the Arts, lists 190 sources of 
support for ind. filmmakers & videographers. $14.95 
plus shipping & handling. Contact: Doug Rose, ACA 
Books, Dept 25, 1 285 Ave of the Americas, 3rd fl. Area 
M, NY, NY 10019; (212) 245-4510. 

NAMAC master list providing current info on calls for 
work, funding & residency progs, avail, to NAMAC 
members. Send SASE to: NAMAC On-Going List. 
1212 Broadway, Ste 816, Oakland, CA 94612. 

PAPER TIGER TELEVISION CAT A LOG highlights 
selection of popular & recommended programs & listing 
of titles. For copy, send $2 to: Paper Tiger Television, 
339 Lafayette St, NY, NY 10012 (212) 420-9045. 

TAX REFUNDS IN FLORIDA, 32-pg. ref. manual for 
producers working in FL includes summary of law, 
definitions & appl. for refunds. Send check for $45 to: 
FMPTA. 355 Beard St, Tallahassee, FL 32303 (in-state 
orders should include sales tax). Fax VISA or MC 
requests to: (800) 989-9FAX. 

WPA'S STOCK FOOTAGE REFERENCE GUIDE pro- 
vides info on 10,000 hrs of footage from WPA's 
collections. For free copy, contact: WPA Film Library, 
15825 Rob Roy Drive, Oak Forest, EL 60452; (800) 323- 
0442; fax: (708) 687-3797. 




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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 53 



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fax (212) 791-2709 New York, New York 10038 phone (212) 732-1647 



Resources ■ Funds 

ADOLPH & ESTHER GOTTLIEB FOUNDATION has 

two assistance programs for visual artists. Grants awarded 
annually to artists working in medium at least 20 yrs. 
Contact: Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation. 380 W. 
Broadway, NY, NY 10012. 

CPB/PBS seek proposals for Primetime Series Initiative. 
CPB's TV Program Fund & PBS' National Program 
Service will allocate up to $6-million in FY93 in support 
of series w/no fewer than 10 episodes & no more than 52, 
suitable for primetime scheduling on public TV. Deadline: 
Jan. 29. Contact: Charles Deaton, CPB, (202) 879-9740 
or Pat Hunter, PBS, (703) 739-5449. 

ENVIRONMENTAL FILM RESOURCE CTR provides 
detailed info on environmental films produced in last 4 
years. Services include subject, prod & acquisition info, 
annual newsletter. Contact: EFRC, 324 N. Tejon St, 
Colorado Springs, CO 80903; (719) 578-5449. 

ETC's ELECTRONIC ARTS GRANTS program offers 
Presentation Fund grants to nonprofit orgs in NY State. 
Partial support avail, for presentation of audio, video, 
computer & time-based electronic art. Deadline: End of 
each month. Contact: Experimental Television Center, 
180 Front St, Owego, NY 13827; (607) 687-1423. 

FIRST FILM FOUNDATION, charitable foundation based 
in London, offers assistance, expertise & contacts in A/ 
V industry for new talents w/ 1st film project for TV or 
cinema. All genres, incl. animation. Contact: First Film 
Foundation, Canalot Production Studios, 222 Kensal 
Road, London W105BN, England; (44) (81) 969 51 95; 
(44) (81) 960 63 02. 

FOUNDATION CENTER provides info on philanthropic 
foundations & agencies that award grant money to the 
arts. They also publish guidebooks. Foundation Center, 
79 Fifth Ave, NY, NY; (212) 620-4320. 

INDEPENDENT TELEVISION SERVICE seeks proposals 
from ind. producers or teams for 9-part. multi-genre TV 
series that explores issues confronting variety of people 
affected by HIV/AIDS. Deadline: Jan. 15. Also, Third 
Open Call. Deadline: March 16. For guidelines & appls. 
contact: ITVS, 333 Sibley, Ste 200, St. Paul, MN 55 1 1 ; 
(612) 225-9035. 

INTERMEDIA ARTS CENTER offers artists free access 
to equipment for participation in collaborative arts 
projects. Org. has 3/4" A/B/C/D roll computer, chroma- 
key, computer graphics & 3-D animation systems. Call 
Michael Rothbard, IMAC exec, dir, (516) 549-9666. 

JEROME FOUNDATION funds indi v. film & video artists 
living & working in NYC metro area. Appls accepted any 
time, reviewed 3x/yr. Contact: Jerome Found., West 
1050 First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota St., 
St. Paul, MN 55 1 1 ; (6 1 2) 224-943 1 . 

MANHATTAN NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORK seeks 
grant applications for 1992-93 Annual Revolving Fund. 
This yr, funds awarded to nonprofit community orgs in 
NYC interested in providing video training to the public. 
Training will result in production of community-based 
TV programs shown on city's public access cable 
channels. Deadline: Feb. 18. For info, contact: Sandra 
Sheu, MNN, 110 E. 23rd St, LOth fir, NY, NY 10010; 
(212)260-2670. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE facilitates access to state-of-the-art 
commercial facilities at substantially reduced rates through 
its unique On-Line program. Qualifying artists & orgs 
receive discounts of 50-80% off commercial rates for 



54 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



services incl. rental of video prod, pkgs, monitors & 
projectors; editing & postprod. special effects; film-to- 
tape & slide-to-tape transfers; duplication, etc. Contact: 
Media Alliance, c/o Thirteen/WNET, 356 West 58th St, 
New York, NY 10019; (212) 560-2919. 

MID ATLANTIC ARTS FOUNDATION supports arts 
administrators through its Visual Arts Travel Fund. 
Applicants must be administrator or curator of nonprofit 
visual or media arts org. in Mid-Atlantic state. Travel 
grants awarded for 50% of documented expenses incurred 
to attend an event (max. $200). Deadline: 6 wks before 
event or dates of travel. For guidelines contact: Michelle 
Lamuniere, VAP Associate, Mid Atlantic Arts Found- 
ation, 1 1 East Chase St, Ste 2A, Baltimore, MD 21202; 
(301)539-6656. 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS (NEA) 

International Program funds US artists & arts organi- 
zations to develop meaningful international interch- 
anges & make visible the diversity & richness of artistic 
expressions. Deadlines as follows: Int'l Projects Initiative 
( for US orgs w/exemplary innovative exchange projects), 
Feb. 5; Travel Grants Pilot (enabling US artists to carry 
out collaborative, creative projects w/ foreign 
colleagues), Jan. 29, May 14; ArtsLink (supporting 
exchange btwn US & Eastern Europe, Central Europe & 
former USSR). April 5; US/Mexico Artists Residencies 
(2-mo in Mexico), deadlines vary w/ discipline; US/ 
Japan Artist Exchange Fellowships (6-mo fellowships 
for work & study in US & Japan), deadlines vary w/ 
discipline; British American Presenters Residencies (2- 
wk residencies to US presenters to see new work), 
February 15. For appls, contact: Int'l Program, NEA, 
Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., 
Washington, DC 20506; (202) 682-5422. 

NEW YORK COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES Media 
Projects — pioneering effort to bring together films on 
video, filmmakers & scholars in public forums throughout 
NYC — seeks proposals for programs. Events feature 
presentations at screening by filmmaker or scholar, 
framed by a talk and discussion. $350 honorarium to 
filmmaker, $250 to scholar w/ up to $ 1 50 addt '1 in travel 
expenses. For appl. contact: NYCH, 198 Broadway, 
10th fl. New York, NY 10038; (212) 233-1 131. 

O.T.O.L. VIDEO invites producers to edit projects on 
video at its Southern CA facility. Submit synopsis of 
project, cover letter describing financing plan & brief 
description of principal people involved. Sample reel 
can be submitted. For more info, contact: O.T.O.L. 
Video, 1800 Stanford St, Santa Monica, CA 90404; 
(310) 828-5662. 

PHILADELPHIA FILM & VIDEO ASSOCIATION 
(PIFVA) offers subsidy program to help complete ind. 
noncommercial films/videos/audio works by PIFVA 
members based in greater Philadelphia area. Grants paid 
directly to facilities for lab/facility services at discounted 
rates as negotiated by artist. Ave grant: $500; max. 
$1,000. Deadlines: Feb. 1; April 2; June 15. For appl., 
contact: (215) 895-6594. 

WOMEN IN FILM FOUNDATION FILM FINISHING 
FUND awards grants from $25-50K for completion & 
delivery of work consistent w/ WTE's goals: at least 50% 
of prod personnel must be women, subject matter must 
relate to women & be of general humanitarian concern 
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MATCHERS 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 55 



MINUTES FROM THE AIVF/ 
FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS 
MEETING 

The board of directors of the Association for Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and the Foundation 
for Independent Video and Film (FIVF) met in New 
York City on October 17. In attendance were: Dai Sil 
Kim-Gibson (chair). Robert Richter (president). Dee 
Davis (vice president), Debra Zimmerman (treasurer). 
Loni Ding (secretary). Bart Weiss, and Ruby I.erner (ex 
officio). 

Lillian Jimenez. FIVF's NEA Advancement Grant 
consultant, conducted a brainstorming session with the 
board to gain ideas on how to improve and redirect the 
organization. The board agreed the organization should 
concentrate on financial management, expanded mem- 
bership, collaborations, visibility/marketing, leadership, 
earned income, structure, communication, and organi- 
zational management for the short term (up to one year). 
The long-term concentration should also include new 
technology and AIVF facilities. It was agreed that the 
initial $5,000 grant allocated by the NEA will be used to 
upgrade computer equipment and to conduct a member- 
ship survey. 

Ruby Lerner, AIVF's new executive director, ex- 
pressed her excitement about the future of AIVF. Her 
immediate goals include financial and debt manage- 
ment. Lerner introduced the newest staff member, 
Michele Shapiro, managing editor of the Independent. 
and announced the promotions of Anissa Rose to admin- 
istrative assistant and Stephanie Richardson to member- 
ship director. 

Stephanie Richardson reported problems acquiring 
accurate membership counts from the computer, which 
led to a shortage in the October issue of the Independent 
. Richardson extended by two months the memberships 
of those who did not receive the issue. She is working 
with a computer consultant to rectify the situation. 
Richardson reported on the three seminars planned for 
early next year: a tax seminar in January, a two-day 
workshop with Dov S-S Simens, and a low-budget 
workshop with James Schamus. 

Development director Susan Kennedy announced 
that Norman Wang, a publicist with the Renee Furst 
company, is the newest edition to the FIVF-nominated 
board. 

On the advocacy front, PBS recently announced its 
decision to tie production funding to video rights. This 
is currently being fought by the Independent Media 
Distributors Alliance (IMDA), together with related 
media organizations. Kim-Gibson asked Richter to take 
up the issue and report to the board. 

The board agreed with Zimmerman that there should 
be an AIVF board/staff representative on panels at the 
National Alliance of Media Arts Centers (NAMAC) 
conference this June in Chicago, which AIVF is helping 
to plan. She also suggested that the AIVF summer board 
meeting be held in Chicago. 

Zimmerman and Weiss proposed that AIVF join 
Artswirc. The proposal was unanimously adopted. 

Davis, a member of the Independent Television 
Service (ITVS) board of directors, reported that ITVS 
has accepted the same CPB contract as last year. He also 
reported that ITVS's future Open Calls will be open to 
projects seeking completion funding of up to S 1 00,000. 

The dates for the 1993 board meetings will be de- 
cided at the next meeting. A weekend retreat for board 
members will beheld from January X through 10, 1993, 
and the next meetings will take place on January 9- 10. 



ADVOCACY ALERT 

In December the Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
proposed a plan to implement the "balance and objectiv- 
ity" requirement of 1992's reauthorization. CPB's 
proposal includes a call for "internally balanced" pro- 
grams and said that "point-of-view" programs should be 
balanced by other programming dealing with the same 
issue "over a reasonable period of time." CPB also 
indicated that its board will take "remedial steps" to 
rectify any perceived imbalance in programming. People 
For the American Way stated publicly that the call for 
internally balanced programs is "a dangerous intrusion 
into program integrity" and that CPB's vague reference 
to remedial steps "could have a chilling effect on pro- 
gramming." CPB's board will vote on the proposal 
January 26 and People For urges supporters of public 
broadcasting to review it, outline concerns, and express 
those concerns before the 26th. Write to: Sheila Tate, 
CPB Board chair, 901 E. St, NW, Washington, DC 
20004. For more info, call People For's Field Dept. 
(202) 467-4999. 



We're so sorry 

A problem with AIVF's mailhouse 

resulted in a delay in the mailing 

of the December 1992 issue. Our 

sincere apologies to subscribers. 

If you have any further problem 

with your subscription, please 

contact Stephanie Richardson at 

212/473-3400. 



UPCOMING FIVF SFMINARS 

THE RETURN OF THE INDEPENDENT TAX 
SEMINAR FOR PRODUCERS 

January 12, 7:00 p.m. 

at AIVF. 625 Broadway, 9th fl 

Tax consultant Susan Lee and Cecil Feldman. 
CPA, are our panelists for this informative 
look at federal income tax laws and hints for 
filing as an independent. 

$25 for AIVF members, $30 for nonmembers, 
$35 at the door 

INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER'S (RASH 
COURSE: FINANCING, DISTRIBUTING & 
SELLING INDEPENDENT FEATURES 

February 27 & 28, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
at Millenium Film Workshop. 66 E. 4th St. 

Instructor Dov S-S Simens will lead indepen- 
dents through the complex, confusing, and 
expensive world of feature filmmaking and 
marketing in this two-day workshop. 

$189 for AIVF members, $239 for nonmem- 
bers (plus optional $15 for producers' work- 
book, payable at the door). Attendees must 
register for both days. 

THE APPARATUS NO-BUDGET FILMMAK- 
ING WORKSHOP 

March 2, 7:00 p.m. 
Location to be announced 
Independent filmmaker James Schamus will 
lead you line-item by line-item over real film 
budgets, sharing invaluable tips on how to cut 
costs, cut deals, and save yourself from need- 
less hassles. Not to be missed! 

$30 AIVF members, $40 nonmembers, $45 at 
the door 

Please Note: Call in January for details (212) 
473-3400. Prcregistration is required to qualify 
for lower AIVF member rates. 



AIVFs New Year Blow-Out Book Sale! 

AIVF wants to help you expand your media library with selections from our inventory. For a 
limited time, AIVF is offering the largest discounts ever on overstock titles such as:: 

• How to Sell Your Screenplay by Carl Sautter (was $22.95, now $10) 

•The Independent Film and Video Makers Guide by Michael Wiese (was $18.95, 

now $13.95) 
•Reviewing Histories: Selections from New Latin American Cinema, with a preface by 

Ariel Dorfman (was $8, now $4) 
•Filmmakers Dictionary by Ralph S. Singleton (was $12.95, now $7.95) 

For a complete list of sale items, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope to: 
AIVF's New Year Blow-out Book Sale, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY 10012. Act 
now, supplies are limited! (List not available by fax.) 



56 THE INDEPENDENT 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1993 








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A TEAM EFFORT 

To the editor: 

For over a decade Direct Cinema has distributed 
the films of Robert Drew. "The Drew Archive" is 
open to individuals and scholars and handles the 
distribution of the films Primary and Crisis: Be- 
hind a Presidential Commitment. 

In several places in your admirable article 
"Inside the Clinton Campaign War Room with 
D.A. Penncbaker and Chris Hegedus" [January/ 
February 1993], you misattribute the authorship 
of the films on John F. Kennedy, Primary and 
Crisis. 

In your introduction you refer to those films as 
"Pennebaker's earlier work on the political pro- 
cess." Later Primary is referred to as a film that 
Richard Leacock, Robert Drew, Al Maysles, and 
Terrence McCartney "worked on with you [Pen- 
nebaker]." 

Not to diminish Pennebaker's contribution as a 
cameraman and editor on Primary and camera- 
man on Crisis, it should be pointed out that he 
worked on these films as part of a team with a 
number of creative contributors. It should also be 
pointed out that the films were conceived and 
produced by Robert Drew. The credits of these 
films make this clear. 

Mitchell W. Block 

president, Direct Cinema Limited 

Santa Monica, CA 

Patricia Thomson responds: 

In an endeavor as collaborative as filmmaking, I 
would hope that it's permissible to refer to a 
filmmaker's "earlier work" as editor/cameraman 
without citing full credits on those projects. That 
said, it is true that without Robert Drew's involve- 
ment as catalyst and producer of Primary for 
Time-Life Broadcasting and Crisis for ABC News, 
neither of these landmark projects would have 
gotten off the ground. 



BIAS DEBATE CONTINUED 

To the editor: 

Like a dog that won't let go of its favorite bone, 
David Horowitz is continuing to bash South Af- 
rica Now a year after that scries ended its run here 
and was handed over to producers i n South Africa 
["The Bias Debate: Radicals Rule PBS Documen- 

2 THE INDEPENDENT 



taries," December 1992]. 

As he appropriates Richard Nixon's favorite 
phrase to "make himself perfectly clear," he pours 
more uninformed, overheated polemical fury on 
the grave of a series that won the George Polk 
Award, an Emmy, and lots of acclaim worldwide. 
And yet we are grateful that the show did not pass 
quietly into the night as one more somnolent PBS 
series. The subjects it covered were upsetting. We 
wanted the series to arouse debate — and it contin- 
ues to do so! 

As the creator and executive producer of South 
Africa Now, I feel compelled to respond [to 
Horowitz' piece] lest his charges be believed by 
their frequent repetition, and not only by the 
sycophantic handful of his fellow travelers in the 
media. I fear that by not responding even some of 
The Independent's readers who have not paid 
close attention to the details of this debate, or 
missed the shows in question, might think, "Well, 
maybe he has a point or two" and thus uninten- 
tionally confer legitimacy on this continuing as- 
sault. 

I am sure there are sectors of the South African 
government and its apologists who agree with him 
that the show "was a disservice to the struggle to 
liberate South Africa," but to allow Horowitz and 
his fellow commissars of "media integrity" to 
pose as some kind of objective arbiters of what 
would be of service to liberation there is a joke that 
smacks of a kind of noblesse oblige, if not racism. 
In any event, our journalistic enterprise never 
represented itself as a liberation tool. 

Permit me to deal with his specifics before 
returning to express one real concern. 

Charge: South Africa Now supported "the 
Stalinist wing" of the ANC. Response: Crap! This 
reminds me of the person who says he's an anti- 
communist only to be told that a critic doesn't care 
what kind of communist he is. This is a lie. South 
Africa Now reported on all political movements, 
factions, and tendencies in Southern Africa. 
Horowitz's red baiting aside, the bulk of our 156 
programs over three years focused on the issues 
driving a mass-based and internationally-sup- 
ported struggle for democracy and against apart- 
heid. The show never editorially backed any lib- 
eration movement, force, or faction. Many of the 
most prestigious Church, labor, community, and 
human rights leaders in South Africa endorsed the 
program because we were challenging the media 
censorship in South Africa at the very time that 
Horowitz was challenging us. 



IWEPEWEffl 



MARCH 1993 

VOLUME 16, NUMBER 2 



Publisher: 

Editor: 

Managing Editor: 

Editorial Assistant: 

Contributing Editors: 



Art Director: 
Advertising: 

National Distributor: 

Printer: 



Ruby Lerner 
Patricia Thomson 
Michele Shapiro 
Ellen Levy 
Kathryn Bowser 
Janice Drickey 
Barbara Osborn 
Karen Rosenberg 
Catherine Saalfield 
Christopher Holme 
Laura D. Davis 
(212)473-3400 
Bernhard DeBoer 
(201)667-9300 
PetCap Press 



The Independent is published 1 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 
625 Broadway, 9th fl„ New York, NY 10012, (212) 
473-3400, a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational 
foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and film, 
and by the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the national trade association of 
independent producers and individuals involved in 
independent video and film. Subscription is included with 
membership in AIVF. Together FIVF and AIVF provide a 
broad range of educational and professional services for 
independents and the general public. Publication of The 
Independent is made possible in part with public funds 
from the New York State Council on the Arts and the 
National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement by The Indepen- 
dent does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are 
not responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

The Independent welcomes unsolicited manu- 
scripts. Manuscripts cannot be returned unless a 
stamped, self-addressed envelope is included. No 
responsibility is assumed for loss or damage. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require written 
permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. ISSN 
0731-5198. The Independent is indexed in the 
Alternative Press Index. 

® Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 1993 

AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Ruby Lerner, executive 
director; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
director; Stephanie Richardson, program/membership di- 
rector; Susan Kennedy, development director; Mei-Ling 
Poon, bookkeeper; Anissa Rose, administrative assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF LEGAL COUNSEL: Robert I Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF BOARDS OF DIRECTORS: Eugene Alein 
ikoff, * Joan Braderman, Charles Burnett, Christine Choy, 
Dee Davis, Loni Ding, Ruby Lerner (ex officio), Dai Si I Kim- 
Gibson, W. Wilder Knight II, Robert Richter, James 
Schamus, Norman Wang,* Barton Weiss, Debra Zimmer- 
man. 



FIVF Board of Directors only 



MARCH 1993 



AM 



1. Advocacy 
2. The Independent 

3. Festival Bureau Files 

4. Festival Consultation 
5. Festival Liaison Service 

6. Members' Tape Library 

7. Distribution 

8. Seminars 

9. Books and Tapes 

10. Information 

1 1 . Liability Insurance 

12. Libel Insurance 

13. Health, Disability, 

and Life Insurance 

14. Dental Plan 

15. Service Discounts 

16. Car Rental Savings 
17. Credit Card Plan 

18. Video Rental Discounts 



. 



18 REASONS TO 
JOIN AIVF 






TODAY 



1 










COVER: Elaborating on a French 
pornographic short, Ken Jacob's 
experimental film XCXHXEXRXRX1XEXSX 
(1980) sparked heated controversy at 
the 38th Robert Flaherty Seminar. Laura 
U. Marks considers the piece and the 
questions it raises about art, feminism, 
pornography, generation gaps, and the 
gaze. 

Cover illustration: © 1 993 Victoria Kajin. 



26 FEATURES 

Here's Gazing at You: A New Spin on Old Porn Exposes Gender 
and Generation Gaps 

by Laura U. Marks 

2 LETTERS 

5 MEDIA CLIPS 

On the Outs with Oscar: Academy Postpones Decision to 
Eliminate Shorts 

by Ingalisa Schrobsdorff 

ITVS' Trial by Fire 

by Michele Shapiro 

Michigan Law Students Shutter Exhibition on Prostitution 

by Ami Walsh 

Labor Videos Cost West Virginia Librarian Her Job 

by Charles Lyons 

Nonprofits Grapple with NEA Compliancy Audits 

by Susan Wyatt 

Two Database Services Have Mediamakers Wired 

by Jeff Stimpson 

Stephen Harvey: 1949-1993 
Sequels 

20 FIELD REPORTS 

Austrian Odyssey: Film Meets Politics at Three European 
Festivals 

by Karen Rosenberg 

Vienna's First Environmental Festival 

Growing Pains: The 14th Independent Feature Film Market 

by James McBride 

32 THE BUSINESS PAGES 

It's A Small World Market After All II: International 
Documentary Coproductions 

by Robert L. Seigel 

34 IN FOCUS 

Sound Advice: The Power of Digital Audio Workstations 

by Bill Bloom 

38 TALKING HEADS 

Suffragette City: Christina Springer and Casi Pacillio Create 
Their Own Destiny 

by Yvonne Welbon 

40 IN & OUT OF PRODUCTION 

by Ellen Levy 

41 FESTIVALS 

by Kathryn Bowser 

43 CLASSIFIEDS 

48 NOTICES 

52 MEMORANDA 



MARCH 1993 



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Contcnlion: We uncritically backed Winnie 
Mandela. The truth: We ran several substantive 

segments on Mrs. Mandela's case which reported 
ii in far greater detail than any other television 
news magazine. We did air a criticism of a sensa- 
tional Vanity Fair article critical of Mrs. Mandela. 
The criticism was not made by us, but by an 
internationally respected South African lawyer 
who once represented Mrs. Mandela in an earlier 
case before the apartheid courts. Our background 
piece reported the charges in Vanity Fair's article 
and included an interview with its writer. Unlike 
most of the media, we did not convict Mrs. Mandela 
before her trial — and were interested in all sides of 
that issue. 

Debating and discussing issues — and offering 
a diverse range of opinion — doesn't mean that 
you are taking a side. The writer in question, 
Graham Boynton, told me personally that he 
thought we probably knew more about the case 
than he did — and, as a matter of fact, we later 
carried his response to the charge against Vanity 
Fair that was offered in the first instance as an 
interviewee's personal supposition, not as a South 
Africa Now position. (Again Horowitz plays loose 
with the facts. There was never a charge that 
Vanity Fair was investing in South Africa. The 
lawyer Joel Carson argued that Vanity Fair may 
have been bashing Winnie Mandela because at 
the same time its sister publication Conde Nast 
Traveller — for which Boynton works — was ac- 
cepting a major ad spread from a South African 
government tourist promotion — before sanctions 
were lifted. Personally, I do not believe that the 
writer was influenced by that, and we aired his 
denial. ) Yes, David, we frequently reported views 
the producers didn't personally endorse. All jour- 
nalists do. That's our job. 

Hollow "victory": After three years, South 
Africa Now was briefly dropped by just one of all 
the PBS stations that carried it, in part, because of 
Horowitz's secret and distorted lobbying cam- 
paign. He "claimed credit" in the LA Times for its 
cancellation ! That decision was sensibly reversed 
after the station proved itself more responsive to 
viewer support for the show than Horowitz's 
harangues. It is significant that to this day he 
dismisses the well argued and passionate support 
of leaders in Los Angeles' black community, as 
well as editorial endorsements for the show in 
leading mainstream newspapers, as a "tantrum." 
He continues to stereotype viewers of the show as 
"leftists" or people who need to be told how to 
distinguish opinion from fact and so warned in 
advance. What arrogance! 

Not content to smear South Africa Now, 
Horowitz was later quoted as saying that he would 
oppose Globalvision's new human rights series 
Rights and Wrongs sight unseen. Who should be 
embarrassed now'.' Is this legitimate media critj 
cism or just a continuing right-wing vendetta 
against a company that was able to get a respected 
weekly scries on the air? 

Right now, Global vision is asking PBS slat ions 



to carry the new series, and many are. We fear thai 
Horowitz and Co.'s tendentious campaign of in- 
sinuation and half-truths may have a chilling 
effect on timid programmers who fear that his 
well-funded poison pen will embroil them in 
unwanted controversy. The new series inciden- 
tally has the backing of respected foundations and 
human rights organizations, who, unlike Horowitz, 
have a deep commitment to getting the truth out. 

Danny Schechter 

executive producer, Globalvision 

New York, NY 

David Horowitz responds: 

I like Danny's gumption. An aging political activ- 
ist who has spent his entire adult life supporting 
totalitarian causes (Fidel, Pol Pot, etc.) with no 
apologies and no looks back, still pretending to be 
an objective journalist just doing his "job." 

Those Independent readers who happend to 
tune in to the amateurish South Africa Now scries 
before its merciful demise know that Danny is 
blowing smoke. (Indeed, anyone who knows 
Danny personally will be amused by his preten- 
sions to journalistic objectivity and gravitas.) 

Of course South Africa Now supported the 
revolutionary-terrorist factions of the ANC In 
covering the December 1991 ANC convention, 
for example. South Africa Now pointedly omitted 
the most significant news of that event (reported 
by everyone else) that Mandela and others were 
pushing a moderate position, and even contem- 
plating the early lifting of sanctions. Instead they 
devoted the major portion of their "report" to an 
on-camera interview with the terrorist Ronnie 
Kassrils (masked in a PLO Kafiych for dramatic 
effect). Kassrils told viewers that liberation would 
only come through armed struggle. There were no 
parallel interviews with ANC moderates like 
Thabo MBeki and Pallo Jordan, let alone with 
ANC critics, black or white, left or right, of whom 
there are many. So party-line was South Africa 
Now that it even found time to lend credibility to 
Fidel Castro's sordid show trial and execution of 
General Ochoa — although the connection to 
"news" about South (or Southern) Africa was 
tenuous at best. 

South Africa Now's treatment of the more-in- 
sorrow-lhan-in-anger Vanity Fair piece on 
Winnie's torture-murder of a 14-year-old com- 
rade was vicious and unprincipled, despite Danny's 
labored attempt to present it as journalistically 
neutral. (Calling the article "sensational" is just 
another late attempt to discredit its reporting.) I 
like Danny's claim that he wanted to wait until the 
facts were in before convicting Winnie Mandela. 
How about General Ochoa? Or DcKlcrk for that 
matter? Or Chief Buthelezi, or any other among 
the politically incorrect whom he is so quick to 
condemn? Danny says his show was "interested in 
all sides of (the Winnie Mandela) issue." Perhaps 
he could identify for us a segment in which South 
Africa Now's producers chose to profile, for ex- 



4 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



ample, Nomavenda Mathiane, the courageous 
black journalist for The Sowetan who first brought 
the Winnie affair to light? I'm not going to hold 
my breath for a response. 

It's true that a Maoist paper reported me as 
saying that I would oppose Globalvision's new 
series sight unseen. But I never did say that, as I 
have already written in Current in response to 
similar Schechter abuse. I have also written in 
Current and in The Independent and in Comint my 
denial that I ever conducted a lobbying campaign, 
secret or otherwise, against South Africa Now. 
The fact is that Danny cannot cite a single sen- 
tence I have written or uttered against his new 
series in the year or so since plans for it were 
announced. So what's the problem, besides the 
fact that Danny doesn't like his old show criti- 
cized or his political con game exposed? 



DEFINING GAY CINEMA 

To the editor, 

As cofounder of the New York Lesbian and Gay 
Experimental Film Festival and a curator since 
1986, I would like to respond to Judith Halber- 
stam's article on contemporary lesbian cinema 
["Some Like It Hot: The New Sapphic Cinema," 
November 1992]. Halberstam raises the issue of 
audience rejection of avant-garde and experimen- 
tal film in gay and lesbian film festivals, and I 
think this subject needs to be addressed w ithin the 
larger context of the role of these festivals. 

Historically, gay film began v/'ithDickson Sound 
Experiment Number Three, a silent short of two 
men dancing that was made in the 1 890s. From the 
dawn of cinema, gay film was synonymous with 
experimentation but soon branched out into its 
second genre — pornography. Formal invention 
and explicit sexuality have been the main expres- 
sions of, and also the motives for, gay film. This 
seems like a logical direction, since dominant 
culture provides a conventional narrative only for 
heterosexual life. Heterosexual film (whether made 
by gay people or not) has overwhelmingly fol- 
lowed these same structures. For women, the 
official story is heterosexual romance, marriage. 
and motherhood. For men, it is heterosexual 
romance, war, marriage, and fatherhood. But domi- 
nant culture has never provided a story of homo- 
sexual life, and so no formal structure was avail- 
able for filmmakers to assume. 

The first gay film festivals were porn shows, 
and the next were avant-garde screenings. But the 
first overtly stated gay film festivals, such as Vito 
Russo's screenings at the gay Firehouse, came at 
the beginning of the post-Stonewall period. These 
events have served a variety of functions, but for 
many years now the desire for cultural assimila- 
tion has predominated in the aesthetic choices of 
most gay film festivals. Specifically, for decades 
programmers have been promising gay audiences 
that the Gay or Lesbian Hollywood Feature was 



just around the corner. And in preparation they 
ignored the century-long history of gay experi- 
mentation and pornography and substituted, in- 
stead, the history of the gay subtext in Hollywood 
film. This was later expanded to include a variety 
of bad gay and lesbian narrative features which 
have tried artificially to establish a traditional 
narrative for gay life. But Imitation of Straight 
Life has proven to be a very unsuccessful formula 
indeed. By looking to conventional structures as 
the only desirable model while simultaneously 
avoiding the formally inventive, emotionally com- 
plex personal films, the festivals have been train- 
ing gay audiences to be highly intolerant of our 
community's own indigenous art forms. So now. 
when imaginative and subversive film is shown in 
mainstream gay festivals, audience members of- 
ten walk out or exhibit indignant hostility towards 
the work. 

Ironically, this reaction has occurred with work 
that is often the most original and emotionally 
accurate. Some quick examples include Cecilia 
Dougherty's Coal Miner's Granddaughter at 
Frameline in San Francisco, Su Friedrich's First 
Comes Love in Toronto, and the Austrian lesbian 
feature Flaming Ears at New York's New Festi- 
val. Some of the most brilliant and resonant films 
that I have seen in recent years have been rejected 
repeatedly by the mainstream gay festivals. I'm 
thinking specifically of Jim Hubbard's Elegy in 
the Streets, a 40-minute silent, hand-processed 
film about ACT-UP. or his eight-minute short. 
Two Marches, which articulates the terrible loss 
of expectation and hope that came with the advent 
of the AIDS crisis. Increasingly programmers 
favor expensive, slick film-school work or inde- 
pendent features and traditional documentaries. 

Of course we want and need expressions of gay 
and lesbian imagination in all forms, genres, and 
disciplines. And I do not believe that any one form 
is superior to any other. I, too, look forward to 
quality feature films from lesbian and gay per- 
spectives. But the training of gay film audiences 
to reject formal invention, super 8, hand-process- 
ing, silent film, and other experimental choices 
streamlines the collective imagination in an 
assimilationist direction. 

This problem becomes even more dramatic 
because of the emergence, over the last few years, 
of gay features that have achieved mainstream 
approval and distribution. Ironically, none of these 
acclaimed films are sexually explicit — which re- 
veals the most dramatic accommodation gay work 
has made for marketing purposes. The media have 
called these de-sexualized films "The New Queer 
Cinema," but there 's a lot more new queer cinema 
being made by women, people of color, poor 
people, and video artists that is emotional, sexu- 
ally explicit, and formally inventive. The features 
that have been singled out as representative are 
often closer to the Old Straight Cinema than the 
vast majority of new lesbian and gay work being 
made today. 

The film festivals, as community-based insti- 




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6 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



tutions. should be articulating an oppositional 
voice to the mainstream vision of what is accept- 
able gay cinema. But instead they are playing 
catch-up by featuring these expensive works over 
the more grassroots productions. As gay images 
and issues come increasingly under the control of 
the mainstream media, we have to vigilantly think 
through and articulate a presentation of work that 
best suits our own visions. For this reason pro- 
grammers and curators now have a special oppor- 
tunity to really provide creative alternatives to 
help stimulate independent thought in our com- 
munities. 

Sarah Schulman 

curator. New York Lesbian and Gay 

Experimental Film Festival 

New York. NY 

Judith Halberstam responds: 

Sarah Schulman 's capsule history of gay and 
lesbian film festivals provides an extremely im- 
portant context for discussions of contemporary 
queer film. Certainly one wants to recognize a 
tradition of gay and lesbian experimental produc- 
tions that runs counter to the conventional narra- 
tives of heterosexual life. And, furthermore, I 
agree with her that the "New Queer Cinema" 
represents only the most timid examples of gay 
and lesbian film and video. Indeed, I made a rather 
similar statement in my article when I suggested 
that Flaming Ears "attempts to capture a new 
queer aesthetic, one radically different from the 
sleek and beautiful images of gorgeous gay men 
that has been heralded as the new Queer Cinema." 

I think, however, that Schulman is wrong to 
unilaterally equate "formal invention" and ex- 
perimentation with "imaginative and subversive 
film." In my article I tried to make the relation- 
ships between spectators and artists, and main- 
stream film and independent productions a little 
more complicated. I want to think about the ways 
in which, sometimes, formal experimentation is 
not subversive but simply obscures a vital politi- 
cal message. Sometimes, I think, lesbian artists 
give up on narrative altogether because they equate 
any narrative structure with conventional narra- 
tive structure. And sometimes programmers and 
artists see a film as brilliant simply because it 
sidesteps conventional forms. Shouldn't we have 
more complex measures of value? 

Furthermore, I do not believe that program- 
mers are quite such a uniform group as Schulman 
suggests. She thinks that "the festivals have been 
training gay audiences to be highly intolerant of 
our community 's own indigenous art forms." This 
makes programmers into a uniform group of people 
with an almost conspiratorial intent. Festivals 
vary enormously in terms of their intentions, their 
anticipated audiences, their proportions of experi- 
mental and narrative films, the amount of video 
work they show, the balance between gay and 
lesbian features, etc. It would be almost impos- 
sible to orchestrate the "training" of audiences 
that Schulman implies. 

The reason people often cannot watch experi- 



mental film is not because they have been indoc- 
trinated, but because only a small and elite group 
of people have been schooled in universities and 
art schools to be precisely the audience that such 
films require. It is difficult to watch formally 
inventive productions, just as it is difficult to read 
avant-garde literature. Why then do we expect 
people to just know how to participate in such 
readings? 

To be blunt, there is no simple relation between 
mainstream and experimental cinema. Avant- 
garde productions are not always subversive. 
Conventional narratives are not always hetero- 
sexist. Programmers rarely share a vision; festi- 
vals vary immensely. Indeed, even the relation- 
ship between gay film and lesbian film is ex- 
tremely complicated, and it would be hard to 
claim that gay men and lesbians even share a film 
history. It would be even harder to group, as 
Schulman does, work by "women, people of color, 
poor people, and video artists" under any one 
heading and to guarantee that it would be mostly 
experimental or mostly narrative-oriented. 

Audiences walk out of film festivals for a 
variety of reasons: sometimes people are bored, 
sometimes they do not understand their relation to 
the material on the screen, often they have no 
context for viewing the work shown because they 
are not film students. I realize that Schulman's 
intention is far from cultivating elitism, but the 
uncompromising equation of experimental with 
subversive has left far too many interested but 
puzzled spectators completely in the dark. 



^ttMAMARfcf^ 



ERRATA 

The article "Some Like It Hot: The New Sapphic 
Cinema" [November 1992] incorrectly de- 
scribed author Judith Halberstam as teaching 
at UC Santa Clara. She teaches at UC San 
Diego. Also, the "Girls Night" showcase men- 
tioned in the article was held in San Diego, not 
L.A. Lastly, the original events of the Leopold 
and Loeb story occured in 1924, not 1942 as 
stated in the piece. 

In Christian Blackwood's obituary [Janu- 
ary/February 1993], one of Blackwood's 
projects was misidentified due to an editing 
error. The correct title is Signed: Lino Brocka. 
In addition. Yesterday's Witness is a film he 
directed on the history of newsreels, not Israel 
as stated in the article. The Independent re- 
grets these errors. 



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MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 7 



ON THE OUTS WITH OSCAR 

Academy Postpones Decision to Eliminate Shorts 



When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and 
Sciences voted in November to eliminate awards 
for short documentaries and live action shorts, 
Hollywood headlines screamed "ACAD EATS 
ITS SHORTS." Now the Academy may be eating 
its words. 

Since the two categories were the first to be 
considered for elimination in 25 years, the 
Academy 's decision took the industry by surprise. 
It especially surprised those whose careers have 
been made on the prestige an Academy Award for 
shorts has brought them. 




The short film form was an ideal vehicle for 

Kenneth Branagh's Swan Song, an adaptation 

of Chekov's short play by the same name. 

Courtesy Samuel Goldwyn 



Jon Wilkman, president of the International 
Documentary Association, said the long-range 
planning committee that had recommended cut- 
ting the categories was out of touch with the short 
film industry. Some of the biggest names in Hol- 
lywood joined with filmmakers and critics to 
protest the move at the Academy's Board of 
Governors meeting in December. The zealous 
protest prompted a vote to delay the decision for 
one year. 

Bruce Davis, the Academy's executive direc- 
tor, said that because the "fundamental question 
involves numbers in terms of theatrical distribu- 
tion, more study has to be done on those figures." 
In turn, the Academy will conduct a thorough, 
year-long review. Robert Rehme, president of the 
Academy, will appoint a committee made up of 



board members and led by Short Films branch 
governor Saul Bass to re-examine the original 
decision more closely. At press time, committee 
members had not yet been selected. 

Davis dismissed accusations that the Academy 
is interested only in high-profile Hollywood and 
awards-night viewership. "The decision was not 
based at all on that," he told The Independent. The 
board passed its original vote on the idea that the 
distribution figures for short films showed them to 
be "virtually non-existent in American theaters." 
In response, the Academy was bombarded with 
letters, phone calls, and full-page trade ads carry- 
ing several dozen powerful industry names, in- 
cluding Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, 
and George Lucas, which attested to the vitality of 
short films. 

Saul Bass, a 1968 short documentary Oscar 
winner for Why Man Creates, made an impas- 
sioned presentation at the December meeting. 
Bass's presentation was based on a four-page 
letter to the board from Frieda Lee Mock, a 
documentary filmmaker and two-lime Academy 
nominee. The letter described short films as a 
"billion dollar business" that draws millions of 
paying theatergoers each year. 

Mock refuted the misconception that shorts are 
shown primarily on television and no longer exist 
in traditional theaters. "Things have obviously 
changed since the 1940s, when every feature 
opened with a documentary, a newsreel, or a 
cartoon," she said. Mock went on to quote figures 
showing that shorts are still booked as added 
attractions at theaters across the country, such as 
the Landmark Theaters chain, which, with 93 
screens in 50 theaters, exhibits over 40 live action 
shorts a year, including Kenneth Branagh's Swan 
Song. Other theater circuits, including UA The- 
aters and AMC Theaters, show short films when 
packaged by distributors or when the feature is 
comparatively short. Forexample, Jim Kellihan's 
live action short If I Could has run in multiplex 
theaters on 700 screens before an estimated 23- 
million theatergoers. 

Davis, emphasizing the Academy's position, 
said that although these films are shown in tradi- 
tional theaters, they are shown at odd hours and 
usually run no longer than the three-day minimum 
required for Academy qualification. 

"If they qualify, they qualify," said Mock. 

One of the main areas of short film that Mock 
cites as thriving is that of large format films such 
as Imax and Omnivision, which have hefty bud- 
gets and are seen by millions. Disney alone brings 



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MARCH 1993 




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in 50-million visitors annually for shows like 
Captain Eo. a S20-million collaboration between 
Coppola and Lucas. Although no Ima\ film lias 
yet won a short award, they are now eligible for 
consideration in their original form and do not 
have to be converted to 35mm, an expensive 
process which hindered entry in the past, accord- 
ing to Bass. "These films will become more of a 
factor in the future," he said. 

Da\ is said the the committee plans to examine 
the larger question of the Academy's role in the 
changing field of short films. Ben Shedd, winner 
of an Oscar for his documentary Flight of the 
Gossamer, said he hopes the Academy will see its 
rule as a major one. "I'm glad the Academy is 
giving the issue the attention and thought it needs," 
he added. "There are a great many Academy 
members who love short films and the art form, 
and they want the Academy to recognize that." 

For this year anyway, makers of short films 
have won their battle, but whether they will win 
the war remains to be seen. "Certainly people will 
get upset when you break their rice bowls," Rehme 
said, and added that it may not be what anyone 
\s ants, but it is possible "an era of movie history 
has ended." 

INGALISA SCHROBSDORFF 

Ingalisa Schrohsdorff is a freelance writer living 
in New York City. 

ITVS' TRIAL BY FIRE 

The late 1980s was a jubilant time for independent 
film- and videomakers. After much rallying and 
lobbying on the part of the independent commu- 
nity, the Independent Television Service (ITVS), 
supported with funds administered through the 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting, promised 
independents the two things they needed most: 
money to fund innovative projects and the promo- 
tional support necessary to get their work seen on 
the more than 300 public broadcasting venues 
throughout the U.S. 

Now, however, nearly two years since CPB 
released ITVS's production funding and full op- 
erating funds, the service's programming efforts 
have produced few tangible results and, with the 
fire of right-wing Congressional leaders under its 
feet. [TVS is dancing to the tune of change: 
changes in the procedures of its annual Open Call 
program, changes in its previously status quo 
Request for Proposal (RFP) process, changes in 
staff and in leadership. But many members of the 
independent community, including some who have 
received funding from ITVS's $6-million annual 
programming budget, arcconccrned about whether 
the service is keeping its promises to indepen- 
dents and whether all this change is for the better. 

In its first annual Open Call in 1991. ITVS 
provided nearly $3-million for 26 television 
projects, which varied in length, genre, and sub- 
ject matter. Producers, with an avcragcof $ 100,1 H K I 
to S 1 50,000 in ITVS funding at their disposal and 



the freedom to run their own 
shows, couldn't have been 
happier. "1 thought I'd 
landed in heaven," recalls 
one recipient, who spoke on 
the condition of anonymity 
as did several other produc- 
ers interviewed by The In- 
dependent. Throughout the 
first months of production. 
Open Call producers re- 
ceived not only financial 
support but encouragement 
from ITVS's staff as well. 
Now, however, the Edenic 
atmosphere is sprouting 
crabgrass. Fewer than one- 
third of the original projects 
have been completed and of 
those, the two submitted to 
PBS and the five to POV 
were rejected. In addition, 
several producers feel let 
down by ITVS's once-sup- 
portive support staff. "ITVS 
didn't have a clear sense of 
what to do with the projects 
when they were completed," 
says one producer. "We 
were led to believe they'd 
go to bat for us. Now we feel 
■they are being extremely 
cautious and taking on the 
role of conservative 
gatekeepers." 

ITVS did little to win over the field by funding 
just 13 projects at an average of $200,000 per 
project in 1992's Open Call. Especially since the 
same number of applicants — approximately 
2,000 — applied to the second Open Call as to the 
first. One insider says the Open Call process has 
come to be thought of in the field as a "beauty 
contest" that many independents refuse to take 
part in. The fact that of the 38 projects funded in 
the first two calls, 20 were from New York state 
and 9 from California also sparked concern among 
independents. 

Last summer. Congress, concerned as well, 
passed an amendment to the Public Telecommu- 
nications Act of 1992 directing ITVS to provide 
funds to projects representing "the widest pos- 
sible geographic distribution." The mandate led to 
one of two major changes in the 1993 Open Call 
process; funds will be divided among six geo- 
graphic regions, and six corresponding review 
panels — composed of members primarily from 
within their own regions — will fund four to eight 
projects each. While most approve of the shift in 
focus from national to regional, few arc as accept- 
ing of the second change: to impose a $100,000 
cap for programs of an hour or more and $60,000 
for half-hour programs. "You can 't have the Open 
Call as trinkets to throw out to indies," says one 
angry producer. "There \s no reason to keep people 




who apply to Open Call on the welfare level. 
Some programs need more money to carry out 
their concepts." 

John Schott, executive director of ITVS, de- 
fends the cap, calling it "an experiment that will be 
used to demonstrate the vitality of low-budget 
productions." 

Vitality is vital. But will PBS want the low- 
budget projects? Larry Daressa, co-director of 
California Newsreel and an ITVS board member, 
says it is clear from the first batch of completed 
projects that "Open Call probably won't be the 
core of ITVS's programming presence in the 
future. Instead the rationale for Open Call will be 
to develop the field." Although Daressa adds that 
future Open Call projects, which he foresees tack- 
ling basic issues such as healthcare, parenting, 
and death in innovative ways, may be difficult to 
program because of their nature as one-offs, "at 
least they'll say something important." 

But with little or no product to air in primetime, 
ITVS has found itself in a predicament, which is 
why Schott, with board approval, hand picked 
New York-based Claypoint Productions, a team 
of three independent producers, to oversee a pub- 
lic affairs series tentatively titled Declarations. 
Schott says the $1.25-million, three-hour series 
will be completed this summer, and he hopes to 
get it on the air sometime this fall. The executive 



10 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



Open Call funds supported Clay 
Walker's documentary Post No Bills, 
but some producers complain about 
ITVS's follow-through on the projects. 

Photo: Clay Walker, courtesy filmmaker 



Christos Kostianis 

nematograph 



director defends his decision to circumvent the 
RFP process and take matters into his own hands 
by saying RFPs take too long to turn around and 
that none of the series from ITVS's Focused 
Programming Initiative — including Television 
Families, Extended Play , and Generation — would 
be ready to air by the fall. Although the board 
insisted that independents be hired to produce the 
12 segments of Declarations, which will feature 
prominent essayists discussing constitutional is- 
sues, Jackie Shearer, an independent producer 
and ITVS board chair, says the board '"knew it 
would take heat for its decision." 

And indeed it has. From the time the program- 
ming decision was made, rumors ran rampant 
about the project. Robyn De Shields. ITVS's new 
director of communications, planned to publicize 
the search for three senior producers and nine 
segment producers via trade publications in Feb- 
ruary. Instead, says Richard O'Regan, executive 
producer of the series, Claypoint will "primarily 
seek out people and ask if they are interested in 
working on the project." Some of the essayists 
have requested to work with specific producers, 
O'Regan adds. He plans to hire producers by the 
beginning of March and, at press time, the names 
of selected producers were unknown. 

Shearer says the project "doesn't represent a 
trend that ITVS will target everything to 
primetime." In fact, she says, "we need to accept 
that ITVS is not for primetime." However, ac- 
cording to Lillian Jimenez, a member of the Na- 
tional Coalition of Independent Public Broadcast- 
ing Producers, which oversees ITVS, "Many 
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One of the reasons for the apparent mistrust, 
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tive in charge of production at WNYC to work for 
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member and deputy commissioner of the Chicago 
Department of Cultural Affairs, wrote in a letter to 
board members shortly after the firing occurred, 
"Because there was no evaluation process and the 
decision to change directions in terms of Beni 
Mateas 's position was so arbitrary, the trust we 
have placed in ITVS' leadership is called into 
question." 



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"We're aware that it's an issue out there," 
Schott responds. "But since the dispute is not 
resolved yet, it may be best for me to speak 
directly to leaders in the field." Mateas also de- 
clined to comment on the matter. 

Schott himself is leaving ITVS in June when 
his three-year tenure is up and will return to 
teaching, leaving a large leadership gap that a 
search firm is now trying to fill. "The field should 
be putting its energies into finding a new leader, 
not focusing on their individual problems," says 
Joan Shigekawa, program director for arts at the 
Nathan Cummings Foundation. "The field is un- 
realistic to see ITVS as a big mother — a nurturer — 
because it has a budget." Many independents, 
however, say they hope that in an effort to deliver 
to Congress as well as to its constituents, ITVS 
doesn't toddle into oblivion. 

MICHELE SHAPIRO 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of The 
Independent. 

MICHIGAN LAW STUDENTS 
SHUTTER EXHIBITION ON 
PROSTITUTION 

When students at the University of Michigan Law 
School abruptly pulled the plug on a controversial 
multimedia exhibit that accompanied a sympo- 
sium on prostitution last fall, they were unaware 
of the Shockwaves such an action would cause. 
But since that day, Michigan video artist Carol 
Jacobsen, the exhibit's curator who said she con- 
sidered the shutdown a blatant act of censorship, 
has voiced her anger in national publications, 
including The New York Times, the San Francisco 
Weekly, and the Detroit News. Although Jacobsen 
and the seven visual artists embroiled in the con- 
troversy may soon settle their differences with the 
university, the bitterdebate that the incident stirred 
over issues of censorship, pornography, and free- 
dom of speech has yet to be resolved. 

"More and more [debate] will happen as more 
video artists become educated about what exactly 
is taking place," says Steve Johnson at the Na- 
tional Campaign for Freedom of Expression. 

The facts of Jacobsen 's case are as follows: last 
October, founders of a newly organized student 
publication at the University of Michigan Law 
School, The Michigan Law Journal of Gender & 
Law, sponsored a three-day conference called 
"Prostitution: From Academia to Activism." The 
conference speakers included many anti-pornog- 
raphy advocates, including University of Michi- 
gan law professor Catherine MacKinnon (an NBC 
commentator during the Clarence Thomas Senate 
hearings) and her longtime collaborator, Andrea 
Dworkin, a feminist author. MacKinnon and 
Dworkin together drafted and advocated legisla- 
tion that would allow lawsuits to prohibit any 
sexually oriented entertainment that is deemed to 
"subordinate" women and that would permit any- 
one who feels "aggrieved" by such a work to 



12 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



collect damages from its producers and distribu- 
tors. 

Initially the students had intended to present 
both sides of the anti-pornography debate at their 
conference, but many who have spoken out in 
favor of pornography refused to participate with 
their adversaries. "Their basic premises are so 
opposite that they don't get together." said Lisa 
Lodeen, a law student who helped to organize the 
exhibit told the Detroit News. Seeking diversity, 
the students asked local artist and prostitution 
rights activist Carol Jacobsen to organize a photo/ 
video exhibit. "The whole point of Carol's work 
was to show prostitution through the prostitutes' 
eyes," said Sarah Greden, a student at the law 
school. 

Jacobsen's exhibit, which included her own 
55-minute video. Street Sex, a series of interviews 
with Detroit prostitutes, and aphoto essay by New 
York photographer Paula Allen, was approved by 
student organizers. But a last-minute addition — a 
two-hour video compilation that included works 
by another five artists — never received a thumbs 
up, and its contents stirred controversy among 
attendees of the symposium shortly after it began. 

At the center of the controversy was Portrait of 
a Sexual Evolutionary, a 26-minute video by New 
York-based video artist Veronica Vera. The video 
was filled with sexually explicit words, pictures, 
and performances that Vera has said are part of the 
language she uses to communicate. After a hastily 
called meeting with MacKinnon and other speak- 
ers, the students, who had not viewed the video, 
removed it. 

In a letter to the editor of the Michigan Daily, 
Laura Berger, a second-year law student, explain- 
ing that invited speakers had "expressed fear for 
their personal safety. Some speakers had attended 
prior conferences where pro-pomography groups 
had shown pornography to incite protests. Such 
protests had resulted in the harassment of speak- 
ers," she added. 

Jacobsen did not discover the compilation tape 
missing until the following day. Finding the tape 
gone, she reinstalled another copy, walked across 
the street where the conference was underway, 
and confronted the students. "I told them they 
couldn't just pick out a selected artwork and 
remove it from the exhibit," Jacobsen told the 
New York Times last November. "But they didn't 
seem to get it. They said it wasn't censorship; they 
were just trying to prevent people from getting 
their feelings upset. I said if they wished to censor 
any part they would have to censor the whole 
thing. They came back and said, 'Take it down.' 
And that's what happened." 

Jacobsen quickly rallied for support and found 
it from Marjorie Heins of the American Civil 
Liberties Union Arts Censorship Project. Heins, 
representing the seven artists featured in Jacob- 
sen's exhibit, immediately began trying to nego- 
tiate a settlement with the University of Michigan ' s 
law school. Heins declined to outline settlement 
terms, but said that "certainly the reinstallation of 




At the request of 
conference participants, 
University of Michigan 
Law School students 
removed a tape from 
Carol Jacobsen's video 
installation Street Sex, 
part of Porn'im'age'ry: 
Picturing Prostitutes. 

Courtesy Carol Jacobsen 



the exhibit would be a major remedy." At press 
time, Lee Bollinger, dean of the law school, had 
agreed to meet with Jacobsen to discuss arrange- 
ments for reinstalling the exhibit and holding a 
forum to coincide with it sometime this year. 
Jacobsen said he had also agreed to compensate 
the artists involved with $3,000, to be divided 
among them. 

The ACLU is not the only organization back- 
ing Jacobsen. Protests against the alleged censor- 
ship have come from the College Art Association; 
PONY, a New York City prostitutes' rights group; 
the National Coalition Against Censorship; and 
the National Campaign for Freedom of Expres- 
sion (NCFE). 

Steve Johnson at the NCFE says Jacobsen's is 
one of a number of video censorship cases that his 
organization has recently spoken out against. 
Jacobsen, however, with her ability to attract 
media attention and garner support for her cause, 
is a role model for other artists facing censorship. 
"Carol knew how to go about getting help," he 
said. "Other people need to understand that pro- 
cess." 

AMI WALSH 

Ami Walsh is a Michigan-based freelance 
journalist who covered "Prostitution: From 
Academia to Activism" for the Ann Arbor News. 

LABOR VIDEOS COST WEST 
VIRGINIA LIBRARIAN HER 
JOB 

Certain public libraries have made a practice of 
banning books they deem inappropriate or ob- 
scene. Now that videos have also become an 
integral part of most public library systems in the 
United States, videomakers will have to contend 
with the same subjective judgement calls that 
authors have for years. According to Judith Krug, 
director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom at 
the American Library Association, many videos 
pulled from the shelves of public libraries in 
recent years have sexual themes, such as Achiev- 
ing Sexual Maturity. Krug said that particular tape 



was the focus of a lawsuit filed by a Moral Major- 
ity leader in Washington State, who felt those who 
had borrowed the tape undermined the "healthy 
growth of children." The case was thrown out of 
court and declared a victory against the Moral 
Majority. Recently, however, a West Virginia 
librarian was forced to surrender her post for 
screening three labor-related videos. 

The librarian, who spoke to The Independent 
on the condition of anonymity, said she worked at 
the St. Albans branch of the Kanahwa County 
Public Library system in West Virginia, where 
she exhibited a series of three Barbara Kopple 
films on Labor Day weekend of 1992. (Kopple is 
a graduate of the University of Charleston in West 
Virginia.) Titled "American Dreams: Labor in 
America." the program included Locked Out in 
America, Voices F rom Ravenswood , Out Of Dark- 
ness: The Mine Workers Story, and the Oscar 
award-winning American Dream. Several weeks 
after the series was screened, Linda Wright, the 
director of the Kanawha County Public Library 
system, informed the librarian responsible for 
arranging the program that she would be trans- 
ferred to the Reference Department at the Charles- 
ton Public Library, one of six branches in the 
system, and would receive a $6,000 pay cut. 

After a grievance hearing on December 6, the 
Kanahwa County Board of Directors voted against 
reversing the decision to transfer her from the St. 
Albans branch. The librarian who exhibited the 
Kopple films is now debating whether to file a 
lawsuit against the Kanahwa County Public Li- 
brary. Her St. Albans post has since been filled. 

Barbara Kopple, upon hearing of the incident, 
said, "It is shocking that the public library system 
would respond to a respected librarian's effort to 
bring new ideas and perspectives to the attention 
of the community with blatant punishment, sim- 
ply because the ideas did not coincide with those 
of the library board." She added that the incident 
should be "a red flag not only to the people of St. 
Albans but to all people who take unrestricted, 
unbiased access to information though public 
libraries for granted." 

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MARCH 1993 




suddenly transferred from St. Albans has not yet 
been publicly addressed. The librarian told The 
Independent she believes that she lost her job 
because the director of the county library and 
several county board members objected to the 
pro-labor sympathies of Kopple's Locked Out. 
The county's case against her did not begin on 
Labor Day, she said, but in March. 1 992, when she 
wrote a pro-labor column about striking workers 
at a local corporation for the Charleston Gazette. 
In the article, the author argued. "This is not a 
strike. It is a lockout. Ravenswood Aluminum 
Corp. locked out 1 ,700 members of Local 5668 of 
the United Steelworkers of America rather than 
negotiate a contract." Last spring, the librarian 
arranged a public screening at St. Albans of 
Kopple's Locke d Out. She claims her status at the 
library began tochange following the initial screen- 
ing. She was moved to different posts within the 
branch during the summer. Someone within the 
library filed an anonymous disciplinary action 
that accused her of using the library's telephone 
for professional reasons unrelated to her job. A 
summertime management audit of the entire li- 
brary staff raised further questions about her per- 
formance, which in previous years was consid- 
ered exemplary, the librarian's lawyer said. 

Despite the incidents prior to the Labor Day 
screening, the county board insists its decision to 
transfer a branch librarian was not premeditated. 
However, one St. Albans board member who does 
not sit on the larger county board said the county ' s 
decision stemmed from its disapproval of an "un- 
balanced" series. 

"This is the first time that after showing videos 
the board said I had to show both sides. The whole 
idea of the library is to have a marketplace of ideas 
and different points of view. I don't think that 



means that you have to show anti-labor films 
with pro-labor ones," the librarian argued. 

The board member added that feelings were 
strong on both sides of the Ravenswood struggle 
and that ideological differences were probably 
behind the board's decision. 

Krug emphatically agrees that library admin- 
istrations around the country often make deci- 
sions on the basis of broad political agendas. 
However, she relates current problems of per- 
ceived censorship in individual libraries to the 
national economy. Krug said libraries are operat- 
ing scared — like museums and public television 
stations. When they receive videotapes that risk 
provoking controversy, they simply refuse to 
purchase them, screen them, or both. Krug said 
she believes the situation will worsen in the post- 
Reagan/Bush era on account of mounting reli- 
gious pressure. 

CHARLES LYONS 

Charles Lyons is completing a PhD dissertation 
on contemporary film censorship and protests at 
Columbia University. 

NONPROFITS GRAPPLE 
WITH NEA COMPLIANCY 
AUDITS 

Organizations that receive National Endowment 
for the Arts grants totalling $25,000 or more 
(including fiscal sponsors) may be required to 
prove compliance with federal regulations and to 
account for those dollars in a more detailed 
manner than ever before. Aside from costing 
more money in accounting fees, the result for 
most smaller nonprofits is a more rigorous and 
time-consuming audit. 



Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning American 
Dream was among the labor films that touched 
off controversy in West Virginia. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



Circular A- 133, issued by the Office of Man- 
agement and Budget (OMB) in March of 1990, 
mandates the new regulations that affect nonprofits 
as well as colleges, universities, and libraries. 
Prompted by the Senate Governmental Affairs 
Committee chaired by Senator John Glenn, (D- 
Ohio) , OMB has standardized requirements across 
the federal government so that organizations re- 
ceiving grants from the Institute of Museum Ser- 
vices or the National Endowment for the Arts 
must account for funds in the same way as a 
university receiving a grant from the National 
Science Foundation or a local government receiv- 
ing a grant from the National Institute of Health. 
While Circular A-l 10 (which preceded and was 
amended by A- 133) contains many of the same 
requirements, the attempt to standardize compli- 
ance requirements under A- 1 33 has brought these 
issues more clearly into focus, and a number of 
nonprofit organizations are dealing with them for 
the first time. 

While some are still unaware of the changes 
that affected most organizations at the end of 
fiscal year 1991 , others are concerned. "The new 
regulations are not reasonable for smaller and 
mid-sized organizations," says Linda Mabalot, 
executive director of Visual Communications in 
Los Angeles. 

What are the specifics of Circular A- 133? It 
puts the burden of proof on the auditor or CPA, 
who generally prepares an organization's finan- 
cial statement, by requiring them to certify that the 
organization has complied with all the terms and 
conditions of federal grants, including such provi- 
sions as civil rights laws, lobbying laws, the drug- 
free workplace laws, etc. If you are an organiza- 
tion that is affected by unionization, you must also 
prove that you have complied with union scale 
wages. If your grant was for fixed assets (i.e., 
equipment), those assets must be treated in accor- 
dance with federal guidelines. Your auditor must 
also verify that your final reports were filed on 
time, that your cash requests are traceable to 
expenses, and that you did not request funds 
before they were needed. 

If the auditor finds that you have not met the 
standards, he or she is required to report any 
weaknesses in your "internal control structure" 
and the steps being taken to correct them. In the 
case of organizations who act as fiscal sponsors 
for individual film- and videomakers or other 
nonprofit groups, the auditor must verify that the 
sub-grantee has met the compliance standards. 
Perhaps most onerous is the requirement that all 
employees who are compensated in part by fed- 
eral dollars file "time and effort" activity reports. 
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The compliancy audits have caused smaller 
nonprofits to dig deep into their shallow 
pockets and may cause other problems for 
those seeking fiscal sponsorship. 



necessary documentation to prove compliance 
with the grant. 

Organizations that already complete audited 
financial statements can expect to spend as much 
as several thousand dollars in additional account- 
ing fees plus the staff time to file and prepare the 
necessary paperwork. For others, it may require a 
first-time audited financial statement, which can 
cost as much as $10,000. From a practical stand- 
point, organizations should make sure that their 
CPA or auditor is familiar with the requirements 
and should check with several firms or with col- 
leagues to make sure that the fees being charged 
are reasonable. 

The compliancy audits have caused smaller 
nonprofits to dig deep into their shallow pockets 
and may cause other problems for those seeking 
sponsorship. David Gerstein, executive director 
of the San Francisco Cinematheque, said that 
during the last fiscal year his organization agreed 
to act as a fiscal agent for a local arts group 
receiving an NEA grant. But he had to deny the 
group's request for fiscal sponsorship this year 
because accepting would have pushed his organi- 
zation over the $25,000 threshold. 

One financial manager who works with a num- 
ber of different small- and mid-sized arts groups 
suggested that an NEA panel would do organiza- 
tions a favor by giving grants of $24,000 instead 
of $25,000. 

Learning to comply with the new regulations is 
a necessity. However, a bigger question remains 
unanswered: can anything be done to ease this 
burden on arts organizations, particularly smaller 
groups? While there is no clear answer, there 
appears to be some hope for an easing of the 
requirements. Six months ago the National En- 
dowment for the Humanities made a formal pro- 
posal to OMB to raise the dollar threshold for 
compliance audits from $25,000 to $100,000. 
NEA endorsed the NEH proposal. 

There has been no response from OMB, but it 
is currently conducting a study on the effects of 
Circular A- 1 28, which sets standards for state and 
local governments. A- 128 was the model for A- 
133. The outcome of the A- 128 study will most 
likely affect changes to A- 133. Also Circular A- 
133 clearly states that there will be a policy review 
three years from the date of issuance, that is March 
1993. An OMB analyst said that the agency had 
received several proposals to raise the dollar thresh- 
old for compliance audits, some to $100,000, 
others to $200,000 and indicated there was sym- 
pathy at OMB for such a change. 



While the Reagan/Bush years have caused con- 
siderable difficulties for arts groups, these new 
requirements appear to have little to do with the 
political forces that have been trying to restrict 
or cut arts funding. After all, from the Bush 
administration's point of view, no one could I 
be considered more "politically correct" or ideo- 
logically pure than outgoing NEH chair Lynne 
Cheney, whose agency took the initiative to sup- 
port an increase in A-133's $25,000 threshold. 
Nonetheless, as Ted Berger, executive director 
of the New York Foundation for the Arts, points 
out, A- 133 is one of "all kinds of encroachments" 
that have made managing arts groups more 
difficult. 

Berger says he agrees with many other arts 
service organizations that the political realities of 
arguing for arts groups alone to receive special 
consideration or exemptions from these require- 
ments would not bring the desired results. The 
perception that arts groups are getting tax dollars 
and frittering them away in irresponsible ways, 
though clearly erroneous, is simply too prevalent. 

A much more effective strategy, some say, 
would be to forge ties with other nonprofit groups 
outside the arts that find the restrictions onerous 
and construct an argument to increase the compli- 
ance audit threshold to at least $ 1 00,000. A broad- 
based effort directed at OMB and the appropriate 
Congressional committees might bring results, 
athough even without such efforts, OMB may be 
on the road to change. 

To get more details on the requirements and to 
understand the fine points of the regulations, 
organizations can order a publication issued by 
the President's Council on Integrity and Effi- 
ciency, Standards Committee, PC IE Position 
Statement No. 6, Questions and Answers on OMB 
Circular A-133 (stock number 041-001-00374-6) 
for $4.50 from the U. S. Government Printing 
Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop; 
SSOP, Washington, D.C. 20402-9328. Also avail- 
able is a new publication from the American 
Institute of Certified Public Accountants titled 
Statement of Position 92-9: Audit of Non-Profit 
Organizations which receive Federal Funds. You 
can order it for $10, plus $2.75 postage and 
handling, by calling 800-862-4272. 

SUSAN WYATT 

Susan Wyatt is an independent arts advocate who 
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TWO DATABASE SERVICES 
HAVE MEDIAMAKERS WIRED 

Industry professionals who find that "indepen- 
dent" just as often means "isolated" can now take 
solace in their computer terminals. Arts Wire, the 
two-year-old brainchild of the New York Founda- 
tion for the Arts (NYFA), and Video Network, a 
Portsmouth, Rhode Island-based firm, both offer 
what some might call the next generation of 
CompuServe: industry-specific electronic data- 
bases available to anyone with a computer modem 
for around $20 a month. Sources say that both 
databases, equipped with e-mail, classifieds, and 
news tips, offer a way to talk shop around the 
clock and to stay tapped into developments in the 
film and video industries. 

"It really does build a budding sense of com- 
munity," says NYFA spokesman David Green. 
"It combines the best of a simple bulletin board 
service with the ability to contact and share infor- 
mation within the discipline of video." 

Arts Wire has attracted some 120 organiza- 
tions and individuals, including AIVF/FIVF, to 
its Hot Wire (a news summary, updated three 
times weekly); Artswirehub (a discussion "area" 
for users to exchange views and ideas); and Money 
(a treasure chest of grant deadlines and other 
opportunities). The database is also indexed and 
its membership included in the online directory. 

The National Association of Artists' Organiza- 
tions maintains a running file of reports from 
industry conferences. It's so exhaustive, says 
Green, "if you stayed off the system for a week 
then came back on and downloaded everything, 
you'd have about 100 pages of information." 

"Arts Wire is still a relatively new system," 
says filmmaker Eric Theise. "There aren't that 
many film sources on it. But there are good 
industry opportunities in the Money section." 

David Kiklis, president of Video Network and 
an industrial film director of 1 9 years, first got the 
idea for his database two years ago, after making 
several trips into New York City to find makeup 
artists, camera people, studio technicians, and 
other talent for a video he was directing. "If you 're 
right in the middle of the video business, it's fine," 
says Kiklis. "But outside major cities there is no 
community in this industry; you may have three or 
four video people in your entire area and no 
resources at your disposal." Conversely, he adds, 
a video mecca like New York can give indepen- 
dents "info overload" and produce a need to share 
positive experiences. 

Enter Video Network, which, like Arts Wire, 
comes with two-way electronic mail, classifieds, 
message posting, and an expansive industry li- 
brary consisting of music files, animations, and 
software demos, which can be downloaded to 
computer memory, then to printers. 

Kiklis runs his entire operation with two staff- 
ers and several IBM 486s working a total of 16 
modems; Arts Wire runs off MetaNet, a computer 
conferencing system. Customer access to these 
systems requires even less hardware: "Most per- 



18 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



sonal computers are capable of online communi- 
cation with little or no additional investment. 
Laptops often have modems or communication 
software built right in." reads the recent Arts Wire 
News, a background newsletter on the service. 

Fees fall well on the reasonable side — "about 
the same as you *d spend for a nice dinner for two," 
says Kiklis, who charges S99 annually and a small 
connection charge. Arts Wire costs $6.75/hour 
from most parts of the country through SprintNet, 
plus a flat network charge of S15/month; indi- 
vidual subscriptions range from $3 to S 1 5/month, 
organizational subscriptions $5 to $25, and insti- 
tutional subscriptions $1,000 to $2,000. An aver- 
age use of two hours per month is common. 

"What's good about these systems is that they 
are not disposable like faxes," says Theise. "Espe- 
cially on conferencing systems, once you put 
information out there, it stays there." 

For information on Arts Wire, contact David 
Green at (212) 233-3900, ext. 212. David Kiklis 
at Video Network is (401) 848-9454. 

JEFF STIMPSON 

JeffStimpson is a New York-based freelance writer. 

STEPHEN HARVEY: 1949-1993 

Stephen Harvey, an associate curator in the De- 
partment of Film at the Museum of Modern Art in 
New York, died on January 1, 1993 at age 43 of 
pneumonia and AIDS-related complications. 

Harvey organized major exhibitions on 
Vincente Minelli, Virtorio De Sica, and Joseph 
Mankiewicz, among others. A respected author 
and historian, Harvey wrote a definitive study of 
Minelli and the MGM studio system, as well as 
essays and critical commentary for the New York 
Times, the Village Voice, Film Comment, and 
Premiere. He also wrote the documentary film 
Sanford Meisner: The Theater' s Best Kept Secret, 
which aired on PBS's American Masters. Contri- 
butions in Stephen's name can be made to the 
Stephen Harvey Memorial Fund, c/o Mary Lea 
Bandy, Department of Film, Museum of Modern 
Art, 1 1 W. 53rd St, New York, NY 10019. 

SEQUELS 

The previously defunct Experimental Televi- 
sion Center (ETC)-sponsored Residency Pro- 
gram will continue through June and possibly 
thereafter, thanks to funds from the New York 
State Council on the Arts. For more information, 
contact Ralph Hocking, program director, at ( 607 ) 
687-1423. 



The video by Bob Hercules that features Stoney 
Burke's interviews with Republicans of note 
["Independents Lose Out on Election Coverage," 
January /February 1993] was allegedly censored 
by PBS stations, but you can purchase the uncut 
version of the The 90' s series segment from 
Subtle Communications at (800) 522-3688. 



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MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 19 



AUSTRIAN ODYSSEY 

Film Meets Politics at Three European Festivals 



KAREN ROSENBERG 



There*s nothing new about culture as politics in 
Europe: what's different these days are the topics 
that culture is raising. A retrospective and sympo- 
sium on Black American Cinema held last Octo- 
ber in Austria, for example, raised three issues 
Europeans are now confronting — or avoiding — 
in their own countries: racism, poverty, and 
homelessness. By reviewing America in the year 
of Columbus, Europeans are beginning to come to 
terms with their preconceptions. One Austrian 




Marco Williams' autobiographical 

documentary, In Search of Our Fathers, 

raised questions and consciousness about 

the African American experience when it 

screened at the Graz festival. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



was surprised at the emotional numbness of the 
main character in Charles Burnett's fictional Killer 
of Sheep. Blacks, she thought, were very open 
about their feelings. Another believed Marco 
Williams' autobiographical documentary about 
his family of single mothers. In Search of Our 
Fathers, concerned a specifically black phenom- 
enon. What was so good about this festival was 
that such ideas could be discussed in a sincere and 
amicable fashion. Burnett and Williams responded 
that the black community mirrors the human con- 
dition and cautioned against looking to African 
American directors only for information about the 
U.S. -black experience. 

Many people probably came to these films and 
discussions for something more general: surprises. 
This scries was part of Styrian Autumn, an avant- 
garde arts festival held annually in the Austrian 



city of Graz. So it attracted those tired of standard 
Hollywood fare, which this retrospective, with its 
focus on independent directors, avoided. "In gen- 
eral, independent filmmakers have trouble break- 
ing into the Austrian market, and black indepen- 
dents almost never get here, except in film festi- 
vals," explained one of the organizers of the 
retrospective, Franz Grabner. There was sti ff com- 
petition from other events in the Styrian Autumn 
schedule, but an excellent film catalog probably 
helped draw viewers, and local film critics told 
their readers why they should attend both the talks 
and films by fathers of Black American Cinema 
like William Greaves and Marvin Van Peebles. 
Considering the scope of the festival (the 50-plus 
films and videos, including European premieres 
and rarities, made it the largest retrospective on 
this topic anywhere to date), it deserved much 
more press. But Vienna still snubs the provinces, 
like the Graz area, and Germany slights Austria, 
and the organizers lacked the budget to court 
international journalists. 

As is usual for cultural events in Europe, most 
of the support came from public funds, but Grabner 
said the roughly $ 1 10,000 raised from all sources 
was only three quarters of what was actually 
needed. The Austrian Ministry of Education and 
Art contributed, he said, "a pitifully small amount 
compared to our needs and efforts." So enthusias- 
tic college students ended up working long hours 
for little pay. It seems as if bureaucrats in this 
country still associate film with entertainment, 
and since movies aren't seen as serious, retro- 
spectives don ' t get the prestige and money awarded 
to classical music or theater. Yet from Julie Dash 's 
work to Marlon Riggs', there was more than 
enough in this festival to satisfy the requirements 
of both art and education, and I'm curious to see 
if this year's success in Graz affects next year's 
budget. 



* 



•> 



An index of Austria's political and social conser- 
vatism will be its funding of the Women's Film 
Initiative, which put on a festival called Murder- 
esses in the fall of 1992. The organizers, five 
women, chose this provocative title deliberately 
to attract attention to their first large event and to 
their thesis: that women who kill with intent are 
breaking out of female passivity. A year-and-a- 
half of planning yielded a rich array of offerings 
open to both men and women: films and videos by 
male and female directors from a variety of genres, 



20 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



periods, and countries — many of them Austrian 
premieres; literary readings: and lectures on mur- 
deresses in film, history, and mythology. In part 
because Hollywood has recently produced a spate 
of films on this theme, the festival was generally 
reported with enthusiasm in feminist and film 
magazines and in Austrian newspapers. A sour 
note was sounded, however, when a journalist 
unearthed the fact that one lecturer/filmmaker had 
been imprisoned in 1 989 in Germany on suspicion 
of association with a terrorist group. 

The particular seminars and workshops for- 
women-only attracted more controversy in the 
press. What really got the goat of some journalists 
was the most popular workshop: an eight-hour 
session on the use of pistols and revolvers, with 
hands-on practice. Three male journalists used the 
festival as an opportunity to criticize the Minister 
for Women's Affairs and the head of Vienna's 
Office for Culture (both women), who gave their 
official support as well as public funds to the 
event. Antonia Cicero, one of the festival organiz- 
ers, argues that men's use of weapons in war and 
hunting hardly raises an eyebrow; in fact, a former 
Austrian president is an honorary trustee of the 
shooting gallery where the workshop took place. 
The goal of the workshop, she told me, was to let 
women see what it's like to leave their traditional 
roles, not to encourage all women to carry weap- 
ons. But she is concerned about rumors that the 
director of Vienna's Office for Culture regrets 
having cosponsored the festival, because the group 
wants to put on a biannual women's film festival 
in Vienna, like the ones in Creteil in France and in 
Dortmund and Cologne in Germany. This can't be 
done without public funds. Private companies 
were approached for support for the Murderesses 
festival, but only in-kind donations (like statio- 
nery supplies and printing services) were forth- 
coming. "Apparently firms are still reluctant to 
fund cultural events and, when they do, they want 
large and prestigious ones — and we weren't that 
big," said Cicero. "Also, I think there's still a fear 
of being associated with a feminist project, and 
many people [in business] were put off by the 
name." 

Austria needs the Women's Film Initiative to 
bring new images and theories to feminist and 
film circles, as well as to viewers outside those 
target groups. Currently most feminist projects 
here are in the social service area, not the arts. 
Politicians, however, may prefer to fund a less 
feisty women's cultural organization, one that 
won't bring them negative press. Reinhard Pyrker 
resigned in March 1 992 as codirector of Vienna ' s 
main film festival, the Viennale, in part because 
he felt the head of Vienna's Office for Culture had 
interfered with the planning of the festival and 
was determining what the city's political culture 
would be. He argues, in essence, that in Austria 
you play the politicians' game, or else. Will the 
case of the Women's Film Initiative substantiate 
his thesis? 



The fall 1 992 Viennale, planned by the new festi- 
val directors, Wolfgang Ainberger and Alexander 
Horwath, was a somewhat larger affair than Pyrker 
and Werner Herzog's 1991 event, with more 
theaters for screenings and a corresponding in- 
crease in the number of films and viewers. The 
service it provides for the Viennese is indisput- 
able: this festival, like others in Austria, brings in 
many good films that will never play commer- 
cially here. But international film critics found 
relatively little they hadn't seen elsewhere, and if 
the Viennale can't get premieres and doesn't offer 
prizes, then it needs more creative programming 
to become newsworthy. Its Robert Bresson retro- 
spective was not ground-breaking, but the ap- 
pended series of films with some relationship to 
his work was a thought-provoking touch. I found 
the retrospective on Boxing in Film rather forced 
as an organizing principle — Black American Cin- 
ema and Murderesses are more compelling themes, 
more likely to put Austria back on the map as a 
significant place for film culture. 

What activated my curiosity were the Austrian 
films that rarely make it to the big festivals. I 
wanted to see what's given Austrian experimental 
works an international reputation. (The work of 
the filmmaking duo PRINZGAU/podgorschek, 
which plays with the opposition of structure and 
chaos, has been touring the U.S. recently.) 







Henriette Fischer's feature-length The Woman 
Before Me, a daughter's attempt to comprehend 
her mother's suicide, would have benefitted by a 
less explicit voiceover narration, but it had some 
brilliant moments, like documentary interviews 
with experts who decode the records that fix a life: 
a judge's divorce decision, a union contract, an 
autopsy. 

I was especially glad that the Viennale screen- 
ed Egon Humer's strong documentary Guilt and 
Remembrance, Questions Put to Austrian Na- 
tional Socialists, which Austrian TV confined to 
a late-night slot. In it, four octogenarians, 
emboldened by their age and German unification, 
reveal why they played a leading role under Hitler. 
It's illegal to disseminate Nazi ideology here, and 
though that law isn't often enforced, one of 
Humer's interviewees has in fact been charged for 
what he said in front of the camera. Would that 
their words could be dismissed as the last of a 
dying generation. The dichotomy between "us" 
and "them" ("I don't want them to intrude into my 
own sphere. And not into our politics either," or 
"My sentiments are national, my sentiments favor 
my own race, it is dearer to me than any other") is 
echoed in Humer's next documentary, a fascinat- 
ing study of youth gangs in Vienna called Running 
Wild, which got a prominent place in the Viennale 
schedule. There, when one young man declares, 
"Foreigners are free to carry on their culture, 
but..." his fellow gang-member adds, "They can 
do that at home, not in the 
middle of the street, where 
the Au..., where we're walk- 
ing around. As I said, then I 
feel like a tourist in my own 
country." 

When Guilt and Remem- 
brance was broadcast in Aus- 
tria, some journalists ex- 
pressed their concern that the 
film would spread and sup- 



— — — — ■— — i 



_ 



Egon Humer's documentary, 
Guilt and Remembrance 
raises questions about the 
official posts and honors 
given in Austria to 
unrepentant Nazis, such as 
former SS doctor Sigbert 
Ramsauer. 



il Courtesy Prisma Film Wien 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 21 



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22 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



port neo-Nazi tendencies. Although Humer uses 
archival material to contradict his interviewees, 
he includes no commentary which directly chal- 
lenges them, and relies instead on viewers' knowl- 
edge, intelligence, and decency. It's precisely this 
confidence in the populace that is diminishing in 
Austria these days, as artists and intellectuals 



express their alienation from their right-leaning 
fellow citizens. 

In this context, the symposia attached to Aus- 
trian festivals are a heartening phenomenon: film 
is providing a comfortable, inviting forum for the 
discussion of race, gender, and nationality — cen- 
tral issues for the country as well as the world. 



Karen Rosenberg' s articles on film have 
recently appeared in the books Women & 
Animation (British Film Institute) and Die 
Wirklichkeit der Bilder, Der Filmemacher 
Hartmut Bitomsky (edition fl Imwerkstatt 
Essen). 



Vienna's First Environmental Festival 



"All power to the machines, abolish people!" 
was spray-painted on a wall near Vienna ' s first 
environmental film festival, which was held 
over four days in October. Recently, sophisti- 
cated environmentalists, including graffiti art- 
ists, have deviated from the old scare tactics, 
which may well freeze us, and gotten us to join 
together in laughter. Public service announce- 
ments, like the one with a fish in a toilet bowl 
and the caption "The Danube starts here!" and 
documentaries like Jungle-Burger ( 1985), Pe- 
ter Heller's satire about McDonald's, are edu- 
cational tools. But Vienna Environmental Film 
Days '92 demonstrated that irony is now part 
of the curriculum. 

One could see a pedagogical thrust in this 
festival. First of all, it was held in an adult 
education center — one known for its openness 
to progressive causes and to film. (A yearly 
Jewish Film Festival also takes place there.) 
And 20,000 copies of the festival program 
were sent to schools, adult education centers, 
and universities to encourage educators to 
come and see the best media on ecology. Many 
of these works — chiefly documentaries and 
animation — are shown rarely if ever in Aus- 
tria, so teachers need to be acquainted with 
them. During this first year, almost all of the 
films were German-language, but the organiz- 
ers are interested in broadening the festival's 
scope in the future. While the Oekomedia 
festival in Freiburg, Germany, premieres new 
productions for distributors, the Vienna Envi- 
ronmental Film Festival is reaching outside of 
film circles. Afternoon workshops for school 
kids were booked within days after the pro- 
grams were mailed out. Next time, there could 
be more such workshops. 

For the teenagers, as well as for adults, 
panels of German and Austrian experts were 
invited to stimulate dialogue. VOX umwelt 



Of the works screened at Vienna's first 

environmental film festival, such as 

Monika Stuhl's With a Probability 

Bordering on Certainty, many are 

rarely if ever shown in Austria. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



media, the three-year-old nonprofit that orga- 
nized the festival, did not mind provoking contro- 
versy by bringing together contrary viewpoints. 
Its founder, the 33-year-old lawyer-tumed-media 
activist Herbert Schneider, said, "We think that if 
you are trying to educate the public, you can't do 
without film anymore. But, on the other hand, you 
shouldn't think it can do the job by itself. Our idea 
is to put films into a large framework, so they get 
discussed." The same antagonism to passivity can 
be seen in the choice of topics. Said Schneider, 
"Ozone was all over the papers this summer, but 
by fall it's out — till next summer. So we thought, 
'Aha, October's just the time to raise this theme 
again.'" By interpreting the mission of a film 
festival broadly to include such sessions as 
Grassroots Initiatives and Utopias-in-Practice, 
VOX again promoted activism as well as knowl- 
edge. 

But playing politics isn't easy. "It's now clear 
to us that it's important which public figures you 
get to attend," confessed Schneider. "When the 
Social Democratic Party heard that [Ecology Min- 
ister] Feldgrill-Zankel, who's from the Austrian 
People's Party, was invited, they complained that 
no one from their party was making an official 



appearance. We didn't do that on purpose: we 
had tried to get the head of the Vienna Office 
for Ecology, who's a Social Democrat, but he 
wasn't free." VOX can't afford to make too 
many politicians too angry, since most of the 
approximately $64,000 it raised for the festi- 
val came from public sources, and it wants 
more public funds to set up an office and a 
nonprofit distribution service to provide vid- 
eos on environmental issues at affordable prices 
to community groups and educational institu- 
tions across the country. 

Private sponsors bring other headaches. This 
year VOX published a paid ad from Siemens in 
its program, although the company is heavily 
involved in the nuclear industry. "Our first 
priority was to scratch together the money for 
this public event, especially since it was our 
first, but we decided that next year we'd look 
carefully into whom we want to collaborate 
with," said Schneider. 

Formore information, contact: VOX umwelt 
media, Tendlergasse 7/12, A- 1090 Vienna, 
Austria; tel: (43) 1-408-4346; fax: (43) 1-408- 
0325. 

KR 




MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 23 



GROWING PAINS 

The 14th Independent Feature film Market 



JAMES MCBRIDE 



For the past 14 years, the Independent Feature 
Film Market (IFFM) in New York has provided 
filmmakers, buyers, agents, distributors, festival 
directors, and other industry representatives with 
a focused, week-long forum on the U.S. indepen- 
dent film market. Sponsored by the New York- 
based Independent Feature Project (IFP), the 



While the IFFM seems to do a reasonably good 
job of getting interested parties together, some 
questions have come up in the last few years 
regarding the policies of the IFP regarding the 
market's timing, eligibility requirements, entry 
costs, and the number of U.S. versus foreign films 
represented. 

Traditionally running right after the Toronto 
Film Festival and concurrent with the New York 
Film Festival, this year the IFFM was held from 
September 20 to27, shoe-horned in between those 



Can do: a filmmaker 

vies for attention at the 

Independent Feature 

Film Market 

Photo: Gary Pollard, courtesy IFP 




market includes panel discussions, screenings of two gatherings. The idea behind this change was 



features, shorts, and works-in-progrcss, a script 
library, and an atmosphere which, more or less, 
facilitates contact and exposure between film- 
makers and the people who buy and distribute 
films. 



to lure down to New York foreign buyers who 
were already in North America for the Toronto 
festival. But veteran IFFM-goers noticed there 
were fewer European buyers this year, an obser- 
vation confirmed by Catherine Tait, executive 



director of the IFP. who cites the worldwide 
recession as one inhibiting factor. "I think this 
[scheduling] may have made it a little hard on 
distributors who went to both [Toronto and New 
York Film Festivals]," she admits. "This year we 
aggressively linked ourselves to the Toronto Film 
Festival and actually did cross-promotions with it. 
Toronto ended on Friday and we started on Mon- 
day. For buyers coming in from abroad it was easy 
for them to come straight down to New York. We 
are still running concurrent with the press screen- 
ings for the New York Film Festival. But I don't 
think it's as bad as last year, when we were right 
on top of it." 

According to Tait. IFFM is the first market of 
the season for a majority of American film pro- 
ducers. "We are the first look for a number of 
festivals, including Berlin, Rotterdam, and 
Munich," she says. "If they don't come to the 
market, they come during the summer and screen 
films. Sundance is obviously an important festi- 
val, too. It is the launchpad for many films, and we 
are the place Sundance comes to find a lot of those 
films. In terms of the distribution cycle, it will take 
a good year-and-a-half for most of these films to 
get any kind of theatrical release. And we are the 
beginning of the cycle." 

While most market attendees agree that the 
market provides a rich and varied cross-section of 
buyers and sellers, there is some consternation 
over the frantic pace of screenings and the cramped 
accomodations at the Angelika Film Center. "The 
market is a little unorganized," says Harold War- 
ren, whose company, Forefront Films, handles 
features and documentaries for overseas markets. 
Nonetheless, Warren found it useful. "We picked 
up a script at last year's market and have seen 
some things this year that we like and can prob- 
ably get." Warren also indicated that the market's 
emphasis on developing filmmakers helps expose 
buyers to new and innovative talent they might not 
otherwise see. "In general there are some very 
good films here. Works-in-progress are always a 
little hard to judge," he says. "But sometimes you 
have to take a leap of faith and use your own 
instincts." 

Tait admits that the number of people in atten- 
dance has "packed out" Angelika's facilities and 
that the IFP is exploring other venues around 
town. But she says the options are limited. "It is 
very hard to find all of the attributes of the Angelika, 
with its beautiful lobby space and six screens with 
a single projection booth," she says. "It is also 
very expensive for us to be here. With 350 screen- 



24 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 




Film posters change daily on 
the IFFM bulletin board at the 
Angelika Film Center. 

Photo: Gary Pollard, courtesy IFP 



ings, we want to do it all in one location. Apart 
from one or two other venues, there are not that 
many places we can go." 

Although billed primarily as an American 
venue, the representation of non-U. S. films at 
IFFM is high. Since IFFM is limited in the number 
of works it can include, more foreign films means 
fewer U.S. films — a fact that particularly discon- 
certs those American independents who are turned 
away. The foreign programming component be- 
gan in 1991 under the previous market director, 
Sandy Mandelberger. That year IFFM rolled out 
its "New Voices" section, in which a different 
country was highlighted each day, w ith four to six 
features screened and a panel discussion each 
afternoon. "Last year we had 45 foreign features, 
this year we have 25," says Tait. The New Voices 
sidebar was scaled back to four days. "As far as 
competing for screening spots, we did reduce the 
number foreign films to allow the maximum num- 
ber of American features that we could accommo- 
date," she acknowledges. "I think we've come up 
with a happy balance here." As Tait explains, "We 
feel it is important for American filmmakers to be 
in touch with what is going on in the rest of the 
world. The independent film community is very 
international. U.S. filmmakers get a lot of funding 
from Europe and one of the ways we attract those 
kinds of relationships is by having European films 
here." 

For the third year in a row IFFM featured a 
selection of scripts-in-development. IFP also set 
up a system at the market through which screen- 
writers who paid to be in the market's script 
library could consult with professionals to im- 
prove and/or better position their pieces for sale. 
Tait says her organization is not able to track 
whether any works from previous markets have 
gone into production. But she did confirm that the 
script library is well trafficked during the market 
and lists are kept on the number of people who 



come to read them. "Scripts are the hardest sell," 
she says. "We work very closely with screen- 
writers to make sure this is a valuable service for 
them. Last year we did a survey and found about 
eight percent of the writers got some kind of agent 
interest from the market." 

Collin Stewart, who describes his script Expert 
Dragon Gunner as a Platoon meets Top Gun 
action-thriller, says the IFFM is the only logical 
place he knows to market his script. "I'm looking 
for an agent for my movie, and this is simply one 
of the best places to do that. You can either go to 
L.A. or New York, and I happen to live close to 
New York. It is an excellent forum for screen- 
plays." 

Bill Blum's script First Date, Last.... appeared 
at last year's market and, as a result, was recently 
optioned by Forefront Films. He is pleased that 
someone picked up his piece, but realistic about 
the process of getting it into production. In gen- 
eral, the bulk of films and scripts offered at this 
year's market seemed to strive for commercial 
acceptance, and Blum's piece is no exception. "It 
is a commercially oriented story, so that should 
help. But I am aware of the considerable time, 
money, and luck that goes into getting a picture 
actually made. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed 
and hoping something happens." 

It also takes some luck and a certain amount of 
money to get into the IFFM. Typically, a film 
market is open to anyone who pays — a basic 
distinction from juried or curated festivals. Al- 
though Tait says no curatorial judgment is at play 
in the selection process (except for foreign films), 
the IFP does make curatorial decisions when the 
allotted number of screening slots has been ex- 
ceeded. 

"Any film that is submitted [before] our dead- 
line is considered acceptable if it falls within the 
standards of genre or format," she explains. "For 
example, if a film is technically ready to be shown 



to an audience, it will be accepted at the market. 
But a number of films get sent in such rough shape 
that we tell the filmmaker it would be to their 
disadvantage to show it at this time. Obviously, 
we can only show a finite number of films within 
six days on six stages. It puts us in the position of 
turning away films or saying to filmmakers 'Your 
film is something we do not think will be easily 
marketed or realistically have an audience. 'That's 
when there is some curatorial judgement." 

One must join IFP or a regional affiliate before 
submitting work to the market. Membership to 
IFP runs $75 for individuals. On top of that, entry 
fees run $250 for scripts, $325 for works-in- 
progress and shorts, and $375 for features, with a 
$50 late fee for submissions after July 2. Tait says 
people whose works are not accepted will get their 
money back, minus a $25 administration fee. (The 
IFP membership fee is not refunded.) She also 
mentioned that filmmakers and writers who get 
entries in during the early summer get a reduction 
in prices and will minimize their chances of hav- 
ing problems at the last moment. 

For the most part, filmmakers seem pleased to 
be able to show the results of their work at IFFM. 
"We came here with somewhat limited expecta- 
tions," says Dome Pentes, director of The Great 
Unpleasantness, a work-in-progress. "I was here 
last year with a short film, so I've been through the 
ringer once. We really didn't expect to sign a 
major deal, but mainly to make connections, meet 
people, get questions answered, and figure out 
where we want to send our film and how we want 
to get it out. So far we've met with a number of 
people who I hope are interested in our project." 

"Filmmakers who come here are obviously 
expecting to meet people that they wouldn't oth- 
erwise meet," says Andy Hudson, writer, pro- 
ducer, and director of an eight-minute short titled 
Casting Call, "either because they don't have the 
ability or the resources to locate those people, or 
they wouldn't know what to do when they met 
them anyway. The way I look at this business, it 
has nothing to do with odds, it has to do with your 
ability as an individual to be able to come across 
and communicate whatever it is you have to 
communicate. This sort of atmosphere makes it 
much simpler to approach someone. People need 
to put out the effort; you have to do what's 
required." 

James McBride is a freelance writer and film/ 
video producer based in New York City. 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 25 



Here's Gazing at You 

A New Spin on Old Porn Exposes Gender and Generation Gaps 




XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX (1980) by Ken Jacobs 

Courtesy Anthology Film Archives 



26 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



LAURA U. MARKS 



a 



HE AUDIENCE AT THE 38TH ROBERT FLAHERTY SEMINAR WAS 
already a bit restless and irritable by the time Ken Jacobs' 
experimental film XCXHXEXRXRX1XEXSX (1980) unspooled. 
XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX, as described by Jacobs in a handout, is 
"an intensive examination and bringing to life of a very small amount of film 
material originally photographed circa 1920; selections from a French 
pornographic short." That screening last August brought more than the 
vintage film to life: the volatility of the audience's response had as much to 
do with seventies formalist filmmaking as with pornography. The screening 
sparked discussions about generational and gender differences that reveal 
much about where we, the independent film "community ." are today — what 
divides us and what connections are possible. 

The screening of XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX utilizes a projection appara- 
tus of Jacobs' invention called the Nervous System. The title XCXHXEXR- 
XRXIXEXSX visually mimics the end result. Two projectors advance 
identical copies of the original porn film, called Cherries, frame-by-frame, 
while the blades of a propellor alternately block them. One projector is 
stationary. The other the filmmaker manipulates so that the two images 
overlap, producing flicker and a three-dimensional effect. The result is that 
the five-minute film fragment is stretched into a two-hour film performance. 
In other words, we viewed a vintage pom film, which was both coy and 
explicit, for two hours, in what was not exactly slow motion because of the 
intense flicker. For the duration Jacobs engaged his apparatus in what must 
have been an exhausting performance. At least a third of the audience 
walked out at various points. These boycotters were divided roughly into 
those who objected to the film because it was (based on) pornography and 
those who felt their time was wasted watching avant-garde film. When the 
post-screening discussion began, Jacobs was immediately on the defensive. 
For the first 1 5 or 20 minutes he talked about the film's formal qualities and 
how the Nervous System works. He seemed intentionally obfuscatory. 
Many participants wanted to discuss content, but Jacobs headed these 
discussions off. Finally one of the younger women in the audience told 
Jacobs that she felt violated by the film because its pornographic object was 
created by and for a male gaze. Rather than address her concern, Jacobs 
seemed to freeze with anger. I then spoke up, suggesting that pornography 
was not incidental but in fact the ideal object for his Nervous System 
apparatus, and asked Jacobs how the function of pornography changed 
when its duration increased so drastically. Could a person jerk off while 
watching this kind of film? Jacobs blew up and left the room. 

After the brief, stunned silence that followed, filmmaker Willie Varela 
made a generous remark. Himself a veteran of the sixties and seventies male 
experimental filmmaking scene. Varela observed that what we had here was 
a generational conflict. He framed this conflict in terms of "art versus 
content." Responding to film on the basis of ideas about "the gaze," Varela 
argued, is a product of the generation reared on Laura Mulvey's article 
"Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." In this article, first published in 
1975 but firmly ensconced in film theory classes by the 1980s, Mulvey 
argued that narrative film is structured around the gaze of a male viewer. 



This viewer's fear of castration causes him to identify with male protago- 
nists and fetishize and objectify female bodies as representing castratedness 
or "lack." Basically, Mulvey argued, Hollywood-style narrative is struc- 
tured around this male gaze, and thus it should be the mission of feminist 
filmmakers to disrupt the viewer's pleasure by critiquing the conventions of 
narrative film. Varela's point was that "It is learned to respond on these 
other levels" — namely those levels informed by feminist theory, psycho- 
analytic theory, and the whole ball of wax; one should not expect a 
filmmaker from a different generation to anticipate these responses. 

Varela's point was well taken and opened about an hour of animated 
conversation in our now leaderless group. Nevertheless, the discussion 
would have been enriched immeasurably if there had been a respect for — 
and a rudimentary know ledge of — the various "learned" responses through- 
out the room. It became clear that there were a number of generational 
splits — between the types of feminist and anti-feminist reactions to pornog- 
raphy, the different attitudes toward popular culture and toward avant-garde 
film, and the pro- and anti-theory camps. But such antipodes are still too 
simplistic. Since the time Mulvey 's article was published 1 8 years ago, there 
has been much work on different ways the gaze may be mobilized. So for 
anyone to assume that all feminists in the room responded uniformly to 
XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX in terms of "the gaze" is to conflate a large 
number of responses. Similarly, some people wanted to split the crowd into 
nonfeminists and feminists, corresponding to those who enjoyed the film 
and those who did not. But, as others of us had to point out, there are feminist 
pro-porn arguments as well. There were feminists who appreciated 
XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX and nonfeminists who walked out. 

The inclusion of a filmmaker like Jacobs at Flaherty was already 
controversial, because traditionally the six-day seminar centers around 
documentary film. By now, Flaherty participants are used to imbibing a 
judicious mix of fictional and experimental approaches with their documen- 
tary. But Jacobs' presentation, as it turned out, came at a point when 
participants were getting to the end of their patience with a section that 
opened the seminar, which seemed to have nothing to do with documentary. 
This program, curated by Scott MacDonald, consisted of films based on 
motion study. These included Godfrey Reggio's Anima Mundi, Chris 
Welsby's time-lapse nature studies. Holly Fisher's Bullets for Breakfast, 
no-budget super 8 films by the prolific Canadian John Porter, and two works 
by Jacobs that employ his mind-altering Nervous System apparatus. 

MacDonald 's programming was later criticized for ignoring nonformal 
issues. "All of the films [in MacDonald's portion of the festival]," com- 
plained film/videomaker and critic Jesse Lerner in Afterimage, "were made 
by white filmmakers, and social, political, racial, or gender issues were 
elided or treated as if they were incidental." However, I found that his choice 
of works drew attention to the politics of vision. Before the first screening, 
as we filed into the cushy auditorium at Wells College, animations from 
Eadweard Muybridge: Motion Studies (published 1887) were flashing 
banally on the screen. These animations are the "fun" part of an educational 
videodisc by curator/filmmaker Jim Sheldon on Muybridge's work: they 
take the familiar experiments with serial photography collected in Animal 
Locomotion and make them into short movies, as Muybridge himself did 
with the zoopraxiscope. 

I say they were banal because at first it seemed pointless to reanimate the 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 27 



Jacobs' Nervous System has many of the same motivations as did Mulvey's 
writing in 7975: the destruction of pleasure, or at least pleasure based on 
identification with a narrative; the foregrounding of the technological 
means of cinema; the disruption of closure. 



motions that Muy bridge went to such pains to suspend. But they were also 
rather profound, because these short sequences revealed the nineteenth- 
century desire to isolate and analyze movement. Partly motivating this will 
to knowledge was the belief that movement, once analyzed, can be regular- 
ized and exploited. Efficiency experts, for example, took advantage of 
film's capacity to rationalize movement when they analyzed footage of 
assembly-line workers in order to cut down the number of movements 
needed for a task. 

In addition, the sequences reveal the social codes that informed this most 
basic of visual experiments, for the innate movements implied by the title 
Animal Locomotion are quite distinct for animals, children, women, and 
men, as well as for people (and animals) of different classes. For example, 
the difference between Muybridge's images of gleaming racehorses and the 
workhorses that trudge from frame to frame is a class difference. More 
crucially, the "animal locomotions" of women and men are clearly marked 
in terms of gender difference. Muybridge's men wrestle, hew wood, and do 
other physically demanding work. While some of his women labor, most do 
things like pour tea. embrace children, and swing in hammocks. They do not 
seem to occupy their bodies or master their movements as the men do. In 
short, it is difficult to look at Animal Locomotion nowadays without 
remarking on the overwhelmingly ideological character of cinematic mo- 
tion. To begin the seminar with the father of movement analysis in a way that 
reveals the relation of Muybridge's still-strange studies to modern film 
conventions was to inscribe politics into the seemingly apolitical genres of 
avant-garde and structural filmmaking. 

MacDonald's polemical purpose, as he described it to me later, was even 
more evident in the work following Sheldon's videodisc, Austrian film- 
maker Martin Arnold's Piece Touchee 1989. This 15-minute film is 
constructed from a seconds-long clip from an American fifties melodrama: 
a seated woman greets a man coming into a room, presumably her husband 
arriving home. Arnold reprints, switches, and staggers the frames, forcing 
us to focus upon individual movements even as he denatures them. Visual 
relations become causal ones. The woman 's deferential gaze causes the man 
to stride toward her; the motion of his arm causes her head to move as though 
struck. In short, the couple perform a ritual of domestic violence. When I 
asked MacDonald about his purposes in programming the series, he said 
that one was explicitly to underscore the relation between gender and film 
production that motion studies reveal. Eadweard Muyhridge: Motion 
Studies and Piece Touchee set up this relation, and Jacobs' performance of 
XCXHXEXRXRXiXEXSX summed it up. 

Another reason XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX was controversial is that it was 
a 12-year-old work. Flaherty normally includes many premieres, so people 
were irritated at being shown old stuff. But the seminar also offers an 
opportunity to reevaluate work or approach it in new contexts. Showing 
work there is a way for filmmakers togct a useful variety of feedback. There 
is a relatively broad spectrum of attitudes among the filmmakers, teachers, 
programmers, and other film-campers in attendance: we have our fault 
lines, our generational and ideological splits, our aesthetic and political 
disagreements, and I'm sure our academic rivalries. Any consensus arrived 
at in discussion is tentative, and if you stick around for lunch you'll hear the 
arguments that didn't get broached in the group discussion. A context like 



this could breathe new relevance into a genre like avant-garde film of the 
sixties and seventies, which is now wedged into two-week slots in film 
courses, trotted out for the occasional retrospective, and otherwise histori- 
cally contained. 

My objective, following on Varela's suggestion and my own apprecia- 
tive response to XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX, is to explore new ways to think 
about Jacobs' films and others like them. Filmmakers, students, and critics 
who came of age in the 1980s often have a knee-jerk aversion to the 
filmmaking practices of the decades preceding ours. We assume that 
nothing good can come from the hermetic formal experiments of a buncha 
white men, a self-selected artistic elite who embodied experimental/avant- 
garde filmmaking in its formative years. A lot of their premises get on our 
nerves: the apparent disregard of racial and sexual politics, if not overt 
racism, sexism, and homophobia; the elitist valorization of capital-A art and 
its distance from popular culture; the philistine distrust of theory. We claim, 
by contrast, to represent an enlightened, politically informed film practice. 
This changing awareness has informed the programming at the Flaherty: in 
recent years the seminar has shown many more works by women, people of 
color, queer filmmakers, third-world and indigenous artists, and political 
activists of other stripes. 

But our knee-jerk response to the experimental practices of yesterday can 
obscure their relationship to some of the more interesting films and videos 
today. The most compelling of the recent works seen at Flaherty, for 
example, are those that draw on experimental techniques. Think of Sadie 
Benning, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Tom Kalin, or Marlon Riggs. Their political 
messages are compelling partly because they cannot be separated from 
formal strategies that challenge the pleasure of narrative. As MacDonald 
said to me, "Avant-garde film still disrupts people's ability to have pleasure. 
I don't think people deal with avant-garde work any differently now than 
they did 30 years ago." He contended that the real reason for most of the 
Flaherty audience's hostile reception to XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX was that 
they couldn't hack the sheer hard work of watching a two-hour experimental 
film. "It's typical of audiences seeing avant-garde film for the first time. 
They want to say they're shocked because it 's porn, but they're really pissed 
at having their vacation interrupted." He argued that works that simply offer 
the right configurations of pre-digested politics are boring, safe, and 
ultimately conservative. MacDonald's program insisted that we, as makers 
and viewers (and critics), need to deal with the very stuff of perception, 
which is what experimental film does, if we want film to take a political 
position. "You can't change the world without studying how things work. 
For me the motion study is a metaphor for one of the steps you need to take 
in social change." Not only is it a metaphor, but it embodies political 
relations in microcosm: to generalize Mulvey's argument, power relations 
arc already embodied in the relationship between viewer and viewed, and 
any film that takes a political position must deal with these relations. 

The feminist debate over avant-garde film can be traced back to the late 
seventies and, in particular, to the formation of the Camera Obscura 
collective. While arguing that feminist filmmaking must engage with avant- 
garde strategies, the collective found the approach of avant-garde film 
criticism in books such as P. Adams Sitney's Visionary Film and The 
Essential Cinema, which Sitney edited, inadequate because they ignored 



28 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 




Eadweard Muybridge's nineteenth-century 
motion studies display a social coding of 
movement and the body. 

Photos left and overleaf courtesy Laurence Miller Gallery 



political critiques, or else conflated them with formal innovation. Feminist 
critics of this period looked away from the American avant-garde, which 
was overwhelmingly male and engrossed with formal concerns, and toward 
the explicitly political practices of British and U.S. feminist filmmakers. 
They have never looked back. 

One writer who recently attempted to turn a feminist gaze back to the 
experimental filmmakers of the sixties and seventies is Patricia Mellencamp 
in Indiscretions: Avant-Garde Film, Video, and Feminism. "While the myth 
of the questing male artist relentlessly circles through avant-garde criticism 
and certain films, as [Teresa] de Lauretis, I, and countless other critics have 
argued;" Mellencamp writes, "and while the films do perform work on the 
formal attributes of the signifier, as [Constance] Penley and [Janet] Bergstrom 
state; and while avant-garde does enunciate reception as a process, the films 
themselves, like the theoretical presuppositions, also exist within and 
engage with the social and the historical." It is this challenge to rehistoricize 
avant-garde filmmaking that I am taking up here. 



® 



EN JACOBS HAS BEEN MAKING FILMS SINCE 1956. NOT PROLIFI- 
CALLY but committedly. since many continue as works-in- 
progress for years. His better known works include Star Spangled 
to Death (1957), Blonde Cobra (1963), Tom. Tom. the Piper's 
Son ( 1 969, revised 1 97 1 ), The Sky Socialist ( 1 964-65/1 988), and a number 
of performances using the Nervous System and other apparati. Studying in 
the late fifties with Hans Hoffmann, the European art teacher who jumpstarted 
the Abstract Expressionist painters, Jacobs developed an emphasis on 
formalism and an ethos of artmaking as a heroic and transcendent practice, 
and was beatified by Jonas Mekas in Film Culture and his Village Voice 
column. Stan Brakhage narrates Jacobs' progress with extraordinary sym- 
pathy in his book Film at Wit's End, evoking the alienation, poverty, and 
anarchistic politics that characterized that particular generation of New 
York artists. 

At the Flaherty, MacDonald showed a segment of Jonas Mekas' epic 
diary Lost, Lost, Lost ( 1 976) that neatly summed up Jacobs' location on the 
avant-garde scene and the historical oil-and-water relationship between the 
avant-garde and the Flaherty Seminar. In it filmmakers Jack Smith, Mekas, 
Jacobs, his wife Flo Jacobs, and one or two other incidental women travel 
to the pristine cloister in Vermont where the Flaherty Seminar is held, 
intending to stage a guerrilla screening of Blonde Cobra and Smith's 
Flaming Creatures. As Mekas narrates their attempt, we see the women 
sleepily pile out of a VW van; later Smith and Jacobs, robed in blankets in 
their role as "monks of the order of cinema," swoop through the early 
morning mist on the Wells College lawn. However, the monks' gatecrashing 
attempt failed, and the films were not shown at Flaherty until 1992. 

Jacobs' works carry out an endless self-critique that P. Adams Sitney 
calls "an aesthetic of failure." His films stress their own lack of closure, from 
the ironic failed suicide in Blonde Cobra to the unfinished or perpetually 
reworked status of films like Star Spangled to Death to the ephemeral 
quality of films performed using the Nervous System. This open-endedness 
is inviting to a contemporary viewer who wants to impose her own readings 
upon a work; the work seems to cry out for different interpretations. 



Many of Jacobs' films are made with found footage. Both 
XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX and Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son use early film 
reels as their raw material. Other films, such as Two Wrenching Departures, 
rework Jacobs' own footage from years past. Jacobs put together Blonde 
Cobra from footage that Bob Fleischner shot with Jack Smith in 1959 for 
two planned films, Blonde Venus and The Cobra Woman. Much of the 
celluloid had been destroyed in a fire, but Jacobs rescued the remainder and 
edited it. "Having no idea of the original story plans," Jacobs wrote in the 
Film-Maker's Cooperative catalogue, "I was able to view the material not 
as exquisite fragments of a failure, of two failures, but as the makings of a 
new entirety." Like his "aesthetic of failure," Jacobs' reworking of bor- 
rowed footage opens his films to discussion in terms of appropriation, 
multiple use, and multiple interpretation. 

It's also significant that XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX and Tom. Tom. the 
Piper's Son are based on material from popular culture. Jacobs seems to 
treat the artifacts he works from — whether Fleischner's half-destroyed 
footage of Smith or vintage porn — as raw material which he transforms into 
art. According to the modernist thinking of Jacobs' milieu, such a transfor- 
mation elevates something base, namely pop culture, into something fine, 
namely art. But at the Flaherty screening, some of us refused the "transmu- 
tation" effect of which Jacobs spoke and instead saw the film as an 
opportunity to explore the original popular-culture artifact. 

If we don't respect the hierarchy between the raw material and the final 
product — and many of us who came up in the eighties have been taught not 
to — then we end up giving the raw material equal consideration. As a result, 
a film like XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX is open to alternative viewing, namely 
as pornography. For viewers to take the film seriously as porn means that 
we are forced to take a position with regard to porn in general. I examined 
my reaction to XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX as a reaction to an erotic film. 
Some of us appreciated the film performance not despite its pornographic 
raw material but because of it. Thanks to feminist work since the Mulvey 
watershed, feminist viewers like me have the means to take pleasure in the 
film, not only in its original form but especially as deconstructed by Jacobs. 
XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX, I would argue, allows feminist viewers to have 
our critique and eat it too. 

Whether or not Jacobs was aware of the emerging feminist critiques of 
the structuring gaze of cinema when he first created XCXHXEXRX- 
RXIXEXSX, his project is in fact aligned with such theory. It is also aligned 
in its opposition to popular culture. Jacobs' Nervous System, after all, has 
many of the same motivations as did Mulvey's writing in 1975: the 
destruction of pleasure, or at least pleasure based on identification with a 
narrative; the foregrounding of the technological means of cinema; the 
disruption of closure. But unlike feminist critiques, Jacobs relies in an 
unproblematic way on the voyeuristic pleasures of popular cinema. At the 
same time he attempts to disavow them, as when during the Flaherty 
discussion he would only say that "rounded forms" facilitated the 2D-3D 
play of the Nervous System. Jacobs struggled to distance XCXHXEXR- 
XRXIXEXSX from porn: "I took something that was abusive of the body and 
transmuted it and made it glorious," he said. This seemed disingenuous for 
several reasons. First, one would imagine that he was attracted to this film 
in particular not because it was hateful but because it was interesting. 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 29 



Second, it assumes thai the final viewing experience had nothing to do with 
the "raw material": Jacobs claims all the credit for any viewing pleasure we 
may have. Finally, it assumes that pornography is "abusive of the body." I 
suspect Jacobs picked this line up from anti-porn feminists in the early 
eighties who. I've heard, criticized XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX for its per- 
ceived sexism. One has to wonder whether he honestly believes porn, or the 
sort of porn selected here, is abusive. 

I believe Jacobs actually did a disservice to the power of his apparatus by 
denying the pornographic content of the work. Mellencamp, writing about 
Tom, Tom. the Piper' s Son, calls belatedly upon theorists of film as an 
apparatus to let avant-garde film do the theoretical work that they expended 
analyzing Hollywood cinema, 'i would argue that this film, like many 
avant-garde films, is theory, informed by history — of technique, of style, of 
story," she writes. I believe the contraption Jacobs designed is an even more 
perfectly theoretical object than Tom. Tom. The Nervous System amplifies 
and changes the experience of watching film in general, but pornography ;'// 
particular. It amplifies and mocks the desire to know the unknowable that 
historically informs porn. 

At the same time in the 1880s that Muybridge was working on Animal 
Locomotion, Jean-Martin Charcot was recording the convulsions of female 
hysterics at the Salpetriere clinic. Both may have been driven by the 
positivist desire to isolate movement, to see ever more explicitly; but both 
also bought into and enabled the psychic processes of fetishism. As Linda 
Williams convincingly argues in Hard Core: Power. Pleasure, and the 
Frenzy of the Visible, the desire to make visible the "secret" of female 
sexuality drove the fetishism of early cinema: on the one hand, this search 
for visibility was displaced into the "peekaboo" games of narrative cinema; 
on the other, it became the compulsion of hardcore porn. While male orgasm 
can be visibly ascertained, female orgasm cannot. Hence the ever more 
obsessive desire to somehow make "it" visible that informs pornography. 
Jacobs' Nervous System pushes this desire to its limit, until the impossibil- 
ity of the effort becomes apparent. Even when a single frame is stretched, 
twitching and flickering, for an unbearable length of time, we still can't sec 
it. "This very blindness," writes Williams, "this inability to make the 
invisible pleasure of the woman manifestly visible and quantifiable, is the 
hard-core text's most vulnerable point of contradiction and the place where 
feminists who would resist a monolithic, masculine, hard-core discourse of 
sexuality can seek the power of resistance." Feminist critics can replace this 
searching gaze that motivates the porn film, as it motivated Muybridge's 
experiments, with other sorts of inquiring looks. 

It was in the spirit of this sort of resistance that I watched Jacobs' 
performance of XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX. He chose a rich film text to work 
from — and if the discussion had been open to other things besides tran- 
scending the raw material, it would have been exciting to find out how he 
decided to use thischarming artifact The anonymous, probably French film 
Cherries has a simple narrative involving two women picking fruit. A man 
spies on them as they pull up their sheer skirts to better hold their cache. He 
approaches them aggressively: they at first resist his advances and then give 
in. The rest of this short film is a loose montage showing the menage a trois 
in various sexual positions. 

Despite the rape connotations of the opening sequence (which, mind you, 
lasted 40 minutes in the Nervous System version), the actual sex scenes in 



the film are remarkable for their attention to the varieties of female as well 
as male sexual pleasure. The women have sex with the man in a variety of 
positions, and the camera focuses on their enjoyment; he gives cunnilingus 
to at least one of them, and they kiss and fondle each other. Of course these 
are all conventions of heterosexual male porn — the shots demonstrating the 
woman's pleasure, the "lesbian" forcplay. However, films such as Cherries 
suggest that early pornographic film, even though it was intended for 
straight male viewers, was more open lo multiple readings than the porn 
genres that followed. These are films made before porn's imagery was 
coded and its audiences divided up. Such early porn is full of transitional 
moments when sexual meanings seem to slip: when, for example, a glance 
between two same-sex supporting characters undermines the manifestly 
heterosexual content of the scene; or a woman's seemingly casual gesture 
becomes purposefully auto-erotic; or a character stares full into the camera 
for a frame, revealing the fact that this is a performance. By isolating such 
moments, Jacobs' apparatus actually exploits this polysemic character of 
early porn. A 1990s viewer can reclaim the various identifications enter- 
tained by these early films, which shift from one woman to the other to the 
man, from giver to receiver of pleasure to voyeur (for often the third person 
was only rudimentarily involved), and from participant in the scene (in the 
long and medium shots) to fetishistic viewer (in the explicit close-ups). 

The Nervous System performance did transform this film. It made single 
shots not only interminable but rich in infinitesimal variation, intensifying 
the viewing experience until it was almost unbearable. When a woman takes 
endless minutes to roll the hem of her chemise an inch further up her leg, that 
one tiny motion becomes a universe of seen or imagined movements. When, 
in the final brief shot, one of the women is on top of the man, seen from 
behind as the shaft of his penis slides into her vagina, it lasts forever: we stare 
until there is nothing more to see, exhausting our arousal; we get bored, we 
start to hallucinate faces in the trees. 

The apparatus radically altered — but did not annul — the function of 
pornography. A viewer's relation to the porn film has to change when the 
erotic scenario is stretched from five minutes to two hours. In order lo stay 
turned on, you need what you are watching to have a certain amount of 
continuity. It becomes debatable whether one can "get off to this film, 
because the filmmaker's structural intervention all but destroys the minimal 
narrative connections from scene to scene and even from shot to shot. For 
me the Nervous System's transformations raised the questions, At what 
point in the film do you get aroused? How long can you keep it up? What 
do you do after you've gotten off once? 

Jacobs was appalled at the suggestion that his film could function as 
pornography (he called the idea "disgusting, disgusting!"). But his own 
statements about the transformative process wrought by the Nervous 
System — that it creates a "continuous rolling effect where things don't go 
anywhere" — propose a. strikingly different relation of the viewer to pornog- 
raphy. The standard orgasmic relation to porn, while it has its virtues, 
creates closure insofar as it facilitates catharsis. By contrast, the Nervous 
System presentation of XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX creates a situation in 
which, rather than getting off, the viewer is constantly tumescent. I would 
argue that this is a highly creative state — open-ended, vulnerable, and 
aware, if a little exhausting. (Am I arguing for a Brechtian pornography? 
Maybe eventually; not in this essay.) Incidentally, in my extremely informal 



30 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



In my extremely informal survey after the screening, a number of women 
said they were turned on by XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX, but no men did. 




Curator Scott MacDonaid's program on motion 
study, which included Martin Arnold's Piece 
Touchee (1989), helped put XCXHXEXRX- 
RXIXEXSX in context. 



Courtesy Canyon Cinema 



survey after the screening, a number of women said they were turned on by 
the performance, but no men did. 

Our aesthetic, intellectual, and I think sexual pleasure in 
XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX was based on its ability to interact with our 
individual fantasmatics. The film took a popular-cultural artifact and blew 
it so far apart that there was room for our desires to play out in the gaps. It 
exploited our individual propensities to create images in the abstract play of 
the flickering frames. If one was willing to look at all, Jacobs' apparatus 
made pornography more conducive to individual fantasy and actually 
militated against the notion that pornography forces the viewer to react in 
predictable ways. It could be used also to show how people other than those 
originally intended for a work of pornography — such as women — can view 
the work appropriately or in alternative ways. 

Amazingly, XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX posited an alternative to the no- 
tion of the dominating male gaze. Instead it gave us a gaze that can be 
seduced, get lost in the image, and switch identifications willy-nilly. As 
Richard Herskowitz put it in the discussion, "The film looks at me, too"; the 
film makes us self-conscious about our own look. The XCXHXEXR- 
XRXIXEXSX experience supports the argument that film theorist Kaja 
Silverman has made that, while the dominating gaze may be phallic, it is not 
male. Voyeurism, far from being a dominant viewing position, is the 
situation in which one is least in control: "It is precisely at the moment when 
the eye is placed to the keyhole that it is most likely to find itself 
subordinated to the gaze," Silverman writes. She distinguishes between the 
gaze and the look: the gaze exists independently of any viewer, outside us 
and outlasting us, while the look pertains to the individual eye. When 



anyone tries to look in a desiring way, Silverman 
argues, she or he is just borrowing the phallic 
gaze. This tentative borrowing is what we were all 
doing, women and men, as we tried to come up 
with desiring positions in relation to 
XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX. 

The phenomenological language that people 
were using to talk about film at the time that 
Jacobs conceived of the Nervous System has 
been, if not completely displaced, expanded. Now 
it takes into account the cultural, social, and psy- 
chic situatedness of the viewer. The kinds of 
comments Flaherty participants came up with 
synthetically spanned a historical range of ways of 
talking about experimental film, besides the vari- 
eties of feminist approaches discussed here (antiporn, anticensorship, 
psychoanalytic, Foucaultian). 

Some, for instance, assented to the sixties liberationist argument that to 
show eroticism is inherently progressive. Filmmaker Holly Fisher simply 
appreciated XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX as "a sexy, pleasurable film" and 
suggested that feminists who were offended by it had an ideology that 
prevented them from enjoying it. 

Fisher's comment begs the question, If an ideology interferes with one 
form of pleasure, what alternate pleasure does it afford that makes us willing 
to relinquish the first? Theoretical devices increase and differentiate the 
pleasure of the viewing experience. "Ideology" can help you enjoy a film 
more. It is a different sort of pleasure, of course, more self-reflexive, more 
responsive to context. 

Those of us with ideologies different from those of Jacobs and his peers 
are a new audience for sixties experimental film. We have processed 
agendas for filmmaking and viewing that include the phenomenological, 
early feminist, popular-cultural, new feminist, and antiracist. We bring a 
rich, if different, approach to films made with the agendas of 20 years ago. 
We have given ourselves permission, as therapists say, to make what use we 
will of the traditions of avant-garde cinema. And if the readings we produce 
enable new thought rather than close down meanings, then I believe they are 
acting in the spirit of open-endedness that Jacobs and so many other avant- 
garde filmmakers upheld and still uphold. 

Laura U. Marks is a writer, film programmer, and artist living in Rochester, 
New York. 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 31 



IT'S A SMALL WORLD MARKET AFTER ALL II 

International Documentary Coproduction 



ROBERT L. SEIGEL 



Given the ever-shrinking financial avenues in the 
United States and the ever-expanding global mar- 
ket, independent documentary film- and video- 
makers are increasingly forming alliances with 
foreign partners. [See "It's a Small World Market 
After All: US-Foreign Cofinancing Ventures," 
August/September 1992, for the distinction be- 
tween coproductions and co-ventures in the narra- 
tive fiction area, plus information on coproduclion 
contracts, foreign subsidies, and related issues.] 




From Earth Tech '92, which grew out of the Earth 

Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where WNET and 

several foreign partners decided to join forces. 

Photo: Sandy Rangila, courtesy WNET 



However, these co-ventures should not be viewed 
as a way of getting money in the pocket with no 
strings attached, as naive filmmakers sometimes 
imagine. There are benefits, drawbacks, and com- 
promises that must be weighed. Such issues were 
addressed by a panel of international producers, 
broadcasters, and distributors at the November 1 1 
seminar "What 's Up Docs: The State of the Docu- 
mentary Coproduction," sponsored by New York 
Women in Film. The panel discussion, which 
focused on co-ventures with television program- 
ming services and broadcasters, was coproduced 
and moderated by Katrina Wood, president of 
Media Exchange, an organization that coordi- 
nates tours of overseas markets for U.S. and 
foreign producers seeking to enhance their 
coproduction prospects. 

Frances Berrigan, managing director of Cicada 
Films and Walberry Productions in the United 
Kingdom, reminded producers of the necessary 



legwork. Independent documentarians must first 
do the research to find out whether a broadcaster 
generally works with freelance producers or solely 
in conjunction with more established independent 
production companies (as is the case with the 
U.K.'s Channel 4). In addition, the film/ 
videomaker should determine the primary market 
for a project — in particular, whether that will be 
the U.S. or a foreign territory. If it's the U.S. and 
the producer has been able to secure some U.S. 
funding or interest, then he or she could approach 
a foreign company for finishing funds either 
through an equity position or a territorial pre-sale. 
It can also work the other way around. This 
method is belter than approaching different mar- 
kets haphazardly for funding. Regardless of what 
market may be targeted, Berrigan suggested that 
U.S. independents form an alliance with indepen- 
dent producers in the foreign market whose back- 
ground is compatible (e.g., nature, science, his- 
tory, investigative reporting). The foreign partner 
will often have access to commissioning editors at 
regional television stations. 

William Einreinhofer, executive producer of 
scientific programming at WNET-TV New York, 
attempted to dispel the common notion of interna- 
tional co-ventures and coproduction as "you give 
us the money and you'll get a credit," explaining 
that many foreign partners lack sufficient funding 
themselves. As Einreinhofer observed, foreign 
partners can offer things other than funding — 
such as experience, equipment, facilities, and 
production personnel. He cited WNET's experi- 
ence with Japanese station NHK. WNET pro- 
duced footage that NHK needed, while the Japa- 
nese company provided crew and facilities for a 
WNET project. "No money changed hands," 
Einreinhofer noted, "but both parties got material 
for their separate projects, even though this wasn't 
a true coproduction." 

Einreinhofer also pointed out with this case a 
common occurrence: different countries may want 
different versions of the same project. Such par- 
ties as NHK, Singapore TV, and Chinese televi- 
sion often have specific requirements, he noted. In 
all cases, a U.S. partner should make him- or 
herself aware of the overseas partner's program- 
ming mandate and the likelihood of a re-edit. 

Many foreign documentary coproductions are 
between broadcasters. But some companies, such 
as the Discovery Channel and its sister cable 
service, the Learning Channel, work with both 
broadcasters (e.g., BBC and Germany 's ZDF) and 



32 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



Foreign partners 
can offer things other 
than funding — such 
as experience, 
equipment, facilities, 
and production 
personnel. 



independent foreign producers, observed Tom 
Grams, Discovery"s senior manager for acquisi- 
tions and development. When pitching a project. 
Grams explained that a television coproduction 
partner will want to know a project's central idea 
or theme, whether any funding or funding com- 
mitments are in place, and the producer's back- 
ground. Such information should be conveyed 
through a proposal that is concise and clear to 
potential production partners who may not be 
fluent in the nuances of the English language. This 
should be accompanied by a pilot or sample reel 
and a realistic budget, which indicates what per- 
centage of the budget is covered by coproducing 
or funding partners. 

The panelists then illustrated their suggestions 
with video presentations. John Gau, managing 
director of John Gau Productions, screened ex- 
cerpts from his series on the history of aviation, 
Reachfor the Skies, a co-venture of CBS Interna- 
tional, Turner Broadcasting, and the BBC. Gau 
explained how, as producer, he served as a '"mid- 
wife" to elicit interest and subsequent commit- 
ments from CBS International and the BBC. Gau 
noted that the program was edited by the partners 
to fit their specific markets. The U.S. version, 
shown by Turner, did not contain certain refer- 
ences and segments concerning air vehicles that 
were created and used outside the U.S. 

Einreinhofer presented excerpts from Earth 
Tech '92, a global environment special produced 
in conjunction with the Earth Summit held in Rio 
de Janeiro last year. As he explained, a group of 
foreign production partners came together with 
WNET. They decided that each partner would 
produce a program for its respective market, but 
parts of any program could be incorporated in a 
partner's program for its market. "'We stressed 
common themes — 'success stories' regarding the 
environment — but we celebrated rather than hid 
the fact that different segments had different styles 
and came from different countries," Einreinhofer 
acknowledged. Again, the version seen on U.S. 
public television was edited specifically for a U.S. 
audience. 

Nancy Walzog, vice president of the distribu- 
tion company Tapestry International, presented 



an excerpt from a pilot for a proposed series on 
social and scientific global issues, Spaceship Earth. 
The pilot was a blend of international archival 
footage and filmed interviews that were produced 
with limited funding using in-kind services at 
facilities around the world. In Walzog's view, the 
program could have been developed more effec- 
tively if the producer had worked initially with 
production partners on creating a series of epi- 
sodes rather than focusing on a pilot episode. 
"Think series," Walzog suggested, "Broadcasters 
know what to do with a series of factual programs 
sometimes better than a 'one-off project." 

Gau concurred, adding that all coproduction 
partners should evaluate whether a project is worth 
the participation of several partners. Citing the 
programs Voyager and The World of National 
Geographic shown on Britain's ITV, which used 
different producers under an umbrella series con- 
cept, Gau explained that some production part- 
ners are more amenable to producing a series than 
to individual or "one-off projects since "the 
stakes are sufficient for all parties to get involved 
and get something out of it." 

Berrigan told how one of her first projects was 
an Anglo-Soviet wildlife co-venture in which the 
Soviet partner provided access to equipment, crew, 
and facilities, while the British producer provided 
film stock, wildlife photographers, and post- 
production services. "Global issues such as wild- 
life and the environment are good for 
coproductions," she noted. 

However, "personal stories" can also be the 
basis for documentary coproductions. especially 
if one partner has access to materials the other 
cannot acquire. A case in point is Philby, another 
Anglo-Soviet venture, in which Berrigan was 
given access to film footage concerning the noto- 
rious Soviet spy. Similarly she obtained Russian 
footage for The Krogs, an Anglo-Soviet program 
on an American husband and wife who fled 
America during the 1 950s for the UK, where they 
helped form a Soviet espionage network. "We 
presold the Soviet footage to a British broad- 
caster. This provided the funds for the Soviets 
to get equipment and for the British producer 
to research and re-edit the footage," Berrigan 
noted. "Without our Soviet partner, we would 
never have had access to these interviews and 
footage." 

In closing, Walzog advised U.S. independents 
to get a U.S. partner "such as Discovery on board 
first and then build on that equity" in forming a 
foreign co-venture. Several panelists reiterated 
the need for documentarians to consider a foreign 
coproduction partner as more than a possible 
source of financing, and to be sensitive to the 
language and cultural nuances of the partner and 
his or her country. 

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MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 33 



SOUND ADVICE 

The Power of Digital Audio Workstations 



BILL BLOOM 



Most film- and videomakers realize the impor- 
tance of a highly creative soundtrack. But inde- 
pendents, like executives in all corners of the 
v. orld, must make creative decisions with one eye 
focused on the time and costs involved. In the 
world of sound, digital audio workstations are a 
boon to cost- and quality-conscious film/ 
videomakers. 



once hard-to-handle electronic or acoustic 
soundwaves are reduced to a much simpler form: 
zeros and ones, the language of the computer. 
These are stored in a variety of ways: on a hard 
drive, CD-ROM, or on the new writeable optical 
disks. 

There are three obvious advantages to this 
technology: digital sound quality, immediate ac- 
cess to sounds, and precise and creative manipu- 
lation of these sounds. In other words, digital 
audio presents the opportunity for greatly in- 
creased efficiency and heightened creativity. 



: v..<i',"t.i'j .).''ui. rii.ce^i '■yiitn^ilzt IdlUht Ulnduw 



■WA^^-A ^V.-^.v-.V.- A^^VAV.-.v ^ 




The main screen from the Studer Dyaxis digital 
audio workstation. 
Courtesy Studer Dyoxis 

This article will outline the many ways that 
digital workstations reduce the amount of time 
necessary to accomplish most film/video sound 
editing tasks. But while digital's efficiency does 
not always translate into dollars saved, it docs 
translate into quality gained per dollar spent. 

A digital audio workstation is a computer. Just 
as a word processor stores and edits words, a 
digital audio workstation records, stores, and 
manipulates sounds. It can store any type of 
sound — a gun shot, an hour-long symphony, or a 
human voice. Converted to digital form, these 



Integrated digital audio workstations combine 
many important audio technologies in one envi- 
ronment. They incorporate high-fidelity digital 
hard-disk recording, powerful sound editing tools, 
digital signal processing, high-resolution digital 
mixing, and much more. Film/videomakers can 
apply this technology to any aspect of audio 
postproduction, including scoring, dialogue, and 
sound effects editing. 

"If we talk about the advantages of random- 
access audio to tape-based audio," says Digidesign 
engineer Steve Bourne, "random access means 
(hat I can grab any sound at any time. It's the 
di ffcrence between having a CD player where you 
can 'drop the needle' at any point or having a 
cassette player where, if you want to hear the fifth 



song, you have to let the tape spin past the first 
four. With a random-access system, if you want to 
listen to 15 different gunshots for a particular 
scene, you don't have to rewind or fast forward all 
over the tape; you just pull up each sound and click 
on a button." 

"I haven't used tape in over two years," ex- 
plains sound designer/editor Rich McCar. "My 
clients enjoy the luxury of lightening-fast editing. 
I can loop a dialogue, try the first half of this take 
and the second half of that take, all non-destruc- 
tively within a few seconds." 

On an hourly basis, digital sound editing costs 
15 to 20 percent more than traditional magnetic 
tape editing. Hourly rales for both vary depending 
on geography, facilities, and the sound editor. 
Most digital studios offer bulk hourly packages, 
which significantly reduce the per-hour expense 
and bring costs more in line with conventional 
moviola editing. 

"Some people think that if you use digital, the 
job will take only two hours instead of four," 
warns McCar. "What it does mean is that instead 
of spending four hours and settling for something, 
you're going to spend four hours to get what you 
want. And you will get what you want." 

Many sound editors are still using tape and 
getting high-quality results the old fashioned way. 
But the traditional ways of working are not nearly 
as cost-effective. Given the cost-effectiveness of 
digitial workstations, why are the "old" technolo- 
gies and techniques still so pervasive? "The film 
environment has been the most resistant to digital 
for a number of reasons," explains McCar. "I 
think that many years ago the film industry con- 
quered sync problems in a very simple way, with 
the beep and with 60Hz resolution. For years film 
people have had solutions, like the Nagra. So there 
wasn't a need to try to correct something that 
worked well." 

Sound effects have traditionally been recorded 
on magnetic tape. Multiple tracks of tape allows 
the sound editor to layer and mix a few sound 
effect components together to create the desired 
effect. This process is time-consuming and cum- 
bersome, however, when compared to working 
within the digital domain. 

"With mag tape," says McCar, "a sound editor 
has to physically take the sound effect and put it on 
a reel. They have big laundry baskets that hold 
these sound effects and they have a lot of filler in 
order to keep sync — because everything is based 
on the beep. When they want to cut in a sound 



34 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



effect, they have to cut out that much filler, cut in 
the sound effect, line it up, and match it to picture. 
It's amazing how many people still do it this way." 

"I don't have to worry about filler," continues 
McCar. "I just have to deal with the sound effects. 
When I want to move something two frames this 
way or a quarter frame that way to see if it feels 
better, I just hit one button and it's done. Tradi- 
tional sound editors have to slice and re-slice it. 
They are cutting all the time. When I move my 
segments on the screen it doesn't affect my edits 
later." 

"I can never imagine going back," adds James 
Klotz, sound editor at Synchronized Sound and a 
proud Studer Dyaxis user. "I am doing all the 
sweetening for the NBA on TNT spots, a big client 
of mine. What these guys require is three or four 
different versions of a 30-second spot. One is for 
Thursday night, one for Saturday afternoon, etc. 
These spots are very sound-intensive — slam dunks, 
crowd cheers. They'll put in explosions when the 
player makes a basket. They like to make it really 
fun. It takes a while to build the first spot, but a 
workstation allows me to copy the entire first spot 
to another file, do an offset, copy it to another time 
code, then fly in another tag and another voice- 
over, and I have a new version of the first spot. 
Essentially, I build all the other spots like that. 
With digital, you still have independent mix con- 
trol over all the spots. Doing it without a worksta- 
tion, I would have to build each spot from scratch." 

"Digital is faster, no question, and there is no 
erosion of the sound," states Etiene Sauret, direc- 
tor/producer of Lazy Man' s Zen. "In film the 
problem is you have to deal with mag tracks that 
get eroded and destroyed very quickly. The beauty 
of digital is that there is no erosion whatsoever." 

Sauret goes on to warn against the hazards of 
using SMPTE time code to lock up multiple tape 
transports. "With mag tape, you're locked right 
in. But when you're trying to lock up multiple tape 
machines, you can become a slave to very slippery 
time codes. We got around this problem on Lazy 
Man's Zen by downloading every track off the D 1 
directly onto the computer. The beauty of doing it 
this way is that we never went to tape. We did it 
from digital hard drive to digital hard drive. We 
avoided all the problems with the speed of differ- 
ent tape transports. A lot of people will tell you 
one or two frames of slippage doesn't matter, 
when in fact it is critical." 

Many sound editors get frustrated when they 
get to the mixing stage. They would like to do 
some pre-mixing of the more fundamental com- 
ponents of the soundtrack. By pre-mixing and 
combining layers of sound effects, the mixer is 
allowed to concentrate on the more global deci- 
sions, such as mixing the pre-layered sound ef- 
fects with music and dialogue tracks. 

"In my Spectral digital multitrack," says McCar, 
"the strength is that I have 256 virtual tracks, 
which means I can have visual representations of 
the whole film. I can play 16 tracks back at one 
time and do a pre-mix internally. I can pre-mix 16 



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effects, and music all at one time — pre-mixes that 
are director approved. Then, at the final mix, I can 
adjust the mix even further. In essence, it allows 
me to have more dubbers at one time." 

The process of composing for film or video is 
equal parts inspiration and arithmetic. Before a 
composer can record a note, he or she has to figure 
out the timing for each scene. There will be a "hit 
point" where the music will accoustically mark a 
moment in the film's action. These hit points 
rarely fall with any metric consistency and, if they 
are to make any sense, the composer must deter- 
mine the proper meters and tempos to make the 
score function properly. 

Computers excel at the repetitious calculations 
necessary to figure out the timing of musical 
scores. They can easily follow synchronization 
signals from film or videotape to produce perfect 
timing clicks. Less busy work equals more time to 
be creative. 

Perhaps the most significant advantage of digi- 
tal is that it allows the film/videomaker to get 
directly involved in the creative aspects of build- 
ing a soundtrack. More involvement by the film/ 
videomaker assures two things: the integration of 
the soundtrack into the total artistic vision and a 
streamlining of the process. 

"If a producer and director disagree on a certain 
effect or music track," says McCar, "in seconds I 
can show them both versions back-to-back, and 
they can come to a decision. This strategy allows 
the creative process to really move. It keeps it on 
a positive note." 

"Clients are saving money and getting more 
involved," says sound designer Scott Gershen, 
who recently worked as sound editor on Teenage 
Mutant Ninja Turtles 111. "There is a scene in 
which a scepter glows as the turtles get transmit- 
ted back in time," he recalls. "We used the 
Waveframe [digital workstation] to create sound 
effects that make the whole theater feel like it is 
rotating. To see if the client would buy something 
that radical, we brought him into the editorial 
room, played it for him, and asked him what he 
thought. Our editing rooms are set up with left-, 
right-, center-surround. What we try to do is create 
mini dubbing theaters to give the client what he or 
she is going to get at the dubbing stage. Because 
of the large expense of dubbing time, wc try to get 
the client more involved with the process. The 
client can make a lot of the crucial decisions in the 
editorial process and not at the dubbing stage." 

The average film/video project requires a digi- 
tal system with at least four hours of mono digital 
sound memory, eight channels of simultaneous 
sound recording and playback, onboard sampling, 
digital sound-processing, and sound memory 
backup. Make sure the system you choose to buy 
or rent meets these minimum specifications. A 
system with this configuration can be bought for 
as little as $15,000 for a Spectral digital multi- 
track, $22,000 for Digidesign's Pro-tools, $33,000 
for a Waveframe, and $45,000 for a Studcr Dyaxis. 
Although all these systems can meet a video/ 



36 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 




At $45,000, the Studer Dyaxis li Multichannel 
Digital Audio Production System is the top 
end of the digital systems. 

filmmaker's fundamental sound editing require- 
ments, there are significant differences in how 
each handles a solution to a particular task. 

Find the system whose software feels the most 
organic, sensible, and comfortable to your way of 
thinking. Make sure the sound editor is experi- 
enced with the system and with film/videomakers. 
Find a sound editor who understands your needs 
and can efficiently implement them. A seasoned 
sound editor with extensive experience on a digi- 
tal system is the greatest factor in achieving qual- 
ity and productivity. 

The purchase price of a particular workstation 
does not translate directly into the hourly cost of 
a studio. Hourly rates for a sound editor and studio 
range from $100 to $200. It is possible to find a 
room with a Studer Dyaxis that costs the same as 
a room with a Spectral digital multitrack. In choos- 
ing a facility, one must weigh a broad range of 
factors including: technical support, room acous- 
tics, aesthetics, and of course the abilities of the 
sound editor assigned. There are situations where 
the studio might cost twice as much, but the editor 
is three times as fast. 

In the final analysis, the goal of every film/ 
videomaker is to accurately translate his or her 
aesthetic vision into an artistic reality using the 
talent and tools available. Digital workstations 
can boost the sound quality on films of all differ- 
ent budgets. "In the past," says Gershen, "it took 
a lot of time to get a really superior job done. What 
the workstation enables me to do is to spend more 
time being creative and less time just doing the 
busy work. The user, the editor, and the client get 
better quality in the same amount of time. It takes 
less time to research and implement, leaving more 
time to be creative. Digital technology means 
lower-budget projects can get a better sound job." 

Bill Bloom is a New York City-based music 
producer, composer, sound engineer, and owner 
of Willie H. Productions. 



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MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 37 



SUFFRAGETTE CITY 

Christina Springer and Casi Pacillio Create Their Own Destiny 



YVONNE WELBON 



"in the 1 850s people were doing things that make 
Malcolm X look like a moderate," says Christina 
Springer, director/writer of Creation of Destiny, a 
three-part feature film-in-progress. The first part, 
The First Journey, shows Underground Railroad 
workers putting their lives on the line. "It took a lot 
of courage to help runaway slaves, people that you 
didn't know, because you believed [slavery] was 
wrong," adds the film's producer, Casi Pacillio. 
Creation of Destiny, which will comprise three 
57-minute features, takes place in four time peri- 
ods: 1859, 1991, 2060, and 3040. These.eras are 
linked by the unusual ability of the main charac- 
ter, Ashe Clemens (Barbara O, from Daughters of 
the Dust), to walk through time and guide her 



descendants in creating a better world. The First 
Journey, now in postproduction, begins in the 
Antebellum period and depicts the free, educated, 
middle-class segment of the African American 
population, centering on an intense female friend- 
ship between a free middle-class black woman 
who runs a boarding house and a white suffrag- 
ette. The story will find its parallel in subsequent 
sections of the epic film when Clemens travels 
through time to 1 99 1 , where her descendent Coretta 
Sampson (Karen Williams) is romantically in- 
volved with a white woman. Clemens offers moral 
guidance to the couple's eight-year-old daughter. 
What makes Creation of Destiny unique has as 
much to do with the multiracial, multigenera- 
tional crew as it does with the film's theme. "We 
began looking for crew members who were black 
women, then lesbians, then white women, and 
then black and white men who could handle that 



environment," says Springer, who is making her 
directorial debut with this film. "I felt that if we 
could be gay/straight, male/female, black/white, 
and cooperate in creating this vision on the set for 
two weeks, it could also happen elsewhere." 

Pacillio, formerly an adjunct professor of film 
at Antioch College, concurs: "We are talking 
about breaking down the barriers of homophobia, 
racism, and ageism. We have an eight-year-old 
and a 78-year-old in the film. "Springer adds, "We 
also have two 1 3-year-old black girls doing every- 
thing from running traffic to getting the food out." 
The project also attracted a number of experi- 
enced African American filmmakers who arc liv- 
ing in the Midwest. The director of photography, 
Michelle Crenshaw, is a Chicago-based film- 
maker who has served as camera assistant on films 
ranging from Home Alone to Who Killed Vincent 
Chin? Zeinabu irene Davis, an associate film 




38 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



Director Christina Springer (left) listens 

as Clemens (Barbara O) guides her 

eight-year-old descendent. 

Photo: Louise Fish, courtsey filmmaker 



professor at Northwestern University and director 
of A Powerful Thang and Cycles, came on board 
as sound recordist. Ohioan Dorothy Thigpen, who 
served as assistant camera and sound on the inde- 
pendent documentary River of Courage, joined 
the crew as assistant camera. 

'"Narrative film has always served as a neutral, 
safe mechanism to examine our culture, ethics, 
and beliefs." says Springer. "Our primary objec- 
tive is to make a film that asks the viewer to 
question established concepts regarding both our 
history and culture." 

The story is set in southern Ohio, where many 
remnants of the Underground Railroad still exist. 
The First Journey was shot outside Dayton at the 
Carriage Hill Reserve, a living history farm. 
Springer enlisted the farm's historian as a consult- 
ant for the art department and engaged the resident 
blacksmith to tutor the lead actor in the craft of 
smithing. 

The characters in The First Journey are a com- 
pilation of historical personages. The main char- 
acter, Ashe Clemens, is based loosely on a mem- 
ber of the Hunster family who owned and oper- 
ated a boarding house in Yellow Springs. As 
Springer describes her, "Ashe Clemens receives 
her spunk from Maria W. Stewert," a black lec- 
turer who used Biblical examples to support the 
right of women to speak publicly ; "her skills as an 
entrepreneur from EllenorEldridge." a Jill-of-all- 
trades who worked to establish a small business 
and acquired property: "and her passion for social 
justice from Sojourner Truth," an orator who 
spoke against slavery and for women's rights. 

Clemens uses her establishment as a station on 
the Underground Railroad. Her fiance, Daniel 
Sampson (John Jelks, from A Powerful Thang), is 
a railroad conductor. Sampson ' s character is based 
on Wheeling Gaunt, the developer of Pacillio and 
Springer's Yellow Springs home, which dates 
from 1851. Gaunt, a former slave who purchased 
himself and settled in Yellow Springs in 1848, 
began dabbling in real estate and was thought to 
be the richest black man in Ohio of his time. 
Similarly, Sampson is a former slave who pur- 



Ashe Clemens (Barbara O) discovers a kitchen 
helper (Latifah Warfield) taking a break in 
Creation of Destiny: The First Journey by Casi 
Pacillio and Christina Springer. 

Photo: Louise Fish, courtesy filmmakers 




chased himself from his master by hiring himself 
out as a blacksmith. 

The Underground Railroad operation in the 
film is threatened after a white tenant, Constance 
Haviland-Cley (Anita Stenger), moves into the 
boarding house. This character is based loosely on 
Rebecca Pennell. the first female college profes- 
sor in the United States. Haviland-Cley is a young 
woman influenced by women's rights and 
antislavery activists like Lucretia Mott, who is 
remembered for inviting blacks to tea and dinner 
at her home. 

Springer took four years to research and write 
the script for Creation of Destiny. Her source 
material range from scholarly works to African 
captive narratives found at the Wilberforce Ar- 
chives, the Ohio Historical Society, and the 
Antiochiana Archives of Antioch College. "In my 
studies I learned that we haven't moved forward 
as much as we want to believe we have," Springer 
muses. 

One thing that has changed, she notes, is "the 
dynamics of women's friendships. ..since the In- 
dustrial Revolution and with the consumer age. 
The intensity of 19th century women ' s friendships 
almost look lesbian in this day and time. It amazes 
me that women could bond so intensely and have 
their own tight communities that could cross race 
lines, depending on the class situations." 

The film depicts such a relationship between 
Clemens and Haviland-Cley. "Constance is a 
bloomer wearer," explains Springer, "which basi- 
cally means she walked around in her underwear. 
She was a Madonna of the 1850s. That was 
radical. But she had the privilege to be that radi- 
cal." Springer continues, "I contrast Constance 
with Ashe Clemens, who is very traditional in 
dress; she wears hoop skirts. But on the inside 
Ashe behaves very radically by running slaves 
through the Underground Railroad, owning prop- 
erty, and managing a business." 



Pacillio and Springer's belief that people can 
choose to create a better world is reflected not 
only in their narrative and crew; it is also a major 
part of their fundraising strategy. The message to 
potential investors is a simple one: buying a ticket 
to a finished film is not enough. "If we want to see 
films that are accurate and positive representa- 
tions of ourselves," says Springer, "it is up to our 
communities to create, control, and fund these 
products that are for us, by us, and about us. We 
need to be responsible for ourselves." 

The producers have raised over $80,000 from 
community contributions and grants from the 
Ohio Arts Council, the NEA Regional Fellow- 
ship program, and Fuji Film. "Funding is the real 
reason we broke it up into three parts," says 
Springer. "We had enough money to shoot one- 
third of the film, and the historical section was the 
one most people were interested in. It was also the 
least controversial. The other sections focus on a 
lesbian family, older people, and some pretty 
radical ideas." In the future sections, Pacillio 
notes, "America is returned to the native peoples, 
and we focus on things like taking care of our 
water and our environment." 

In light of recent government funding contro- 
versies over gay and lesbian art, Springer chose to 
take the word "lesbian" out of her grant applica- 
tions and has created "straight" and "gay" trailers 
for different funding targets. It is a reality she and 
Pacillio hope will soon change. 

"We need to see more positive, realistic im- 
ages," says Pacillio. "As part of an interracial 
lesbian couple with a child, Christina and I feel a 
lot of responsibility as parents. Now our daughter, 
Imani, will be able to turn on the television and see 
a very light-skinned black girl like herself with a 
black mama and a white mama." 

Yvonne Welbon is a filmmaker and writer who 
lives in Chicago. 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 39 



ELLEN LEVY 



The year was 1935. Unemployed men hopped 
freight cars determined to take their demands 
across Canada to the nation's capital at Ottawa. 
Stopped violently in Saskatchewan by the Royal 
Canadian Mounted Police, they nevertheless live 
on in spirit. On to Ottawa (53 min.), by Canadian 
video artist Sara Diamond, interweaves scripted 
voiceover with historical footage to create a mul- 
tilayered look at the Dirty Thirties. Women and 
work from the 1930s to 1950s are the subject of 
Diamond's four-part series The Lull Before the 
Storm, which combines docudrama and experi- 
mental documentary to chronicle women's expe- 
rience. On to Ottawa and The Lull Before the 
Storm, Women's Labour History, Attn: Sara Dia- 
mond. General Delivery, Banff, Alberta, TOL 
OCO Canada; (403) 762-6696. 

Since 1986, guerilla-art hero Robbie Conal's 
mass-produced posters of public figures have 
been plastered on city walls coast-to-coast, tread- 
ing the fine line between pop art and publicity 
stunt. Clay Walker's Post No Bills (56 min., 
16mm, b&w) focuses on the reaction to Conal's 
poster, distributed after the Rodney King beating. 
Post No Bills, Box 34321, Los Angeles, CA 
90034 or contact ITVS at (612) 225-9035. 

Videomaker Barry Strongin discovered 97- 
year-old A.J. Snow in the men 's room at a rest stop 
en route to a Canadian ski lodge. Snow was 
demonstrating to two little boys how his dentures 
worked. Gray Rocks is an intimate portrait of the 
Great Neck, New York, resident and his 70-year- 
old spouse, Aida Snow. Gray Rocks, Barry 
Strongin, c/o Wilkinson/Lipsman, 8170 Beverly 
Blvd. Suite 205, Los Angeles, CA 90048-4513; 
(213)651-0937. 

The Jews of Cochin, India, trace their history to 
the reign of King Solomon (1000 B.C.), when 
Jewish trader ships set forth every three years 
from Judca to the Malabar coast of southwest 
India to establish outposts and thriving settle- 
ments. Johanna Spcctor's Two Thousand Years 
of Freedom and Honor: The Cochin Jews of 
India (80 min.. 16mm) documents the rich tapes- 
try of life in this fading Jewish community. Two 
Thousand Years of Freedom and Honor, Spector 
Films, 400 West I 19 St, New York, NY 10027; 
(212)666-9461. 

Thousands, not hundreds, of Panamanians died 
in the 1 989 U.S. invasion of Panama. Many were 



executed; almost all the bodies were disposed of 
in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Five 
mass grave sites have already been uncovered, 
and there are more. The Panama Deception (9 1 
min.. video/35mm transfer), produced by the 
Empowerment Project, provides a provocative 
look at the invasion, its aftermath, and the coverup. 
The Panama Deception, 1653 18th St, Suite #3, 
Santa Monica, CA 90404; (310) 828-8807; fax: 
(310)453-4347. 




Bob Giges' oral history documentary My Yiddishe 
Momme McCoy celebrates his grandmother's 50- 
year interfaith romance. 

Courtesy filmmaker 

First contacted in the late 1970s, the Waiapi 
Indians of Brazil are fighting off the encroach- 
ments of the outside world. A highway threatens 
to divide their lands in two and the Brazilian 
government proposes to reduce their traditional 
lands. Geoffrey O'Connor's half-hour documen- 
tary At the Edge of Conquest: The Journey of 
Chief Wai-Wai tracks the leader's confrontation 
with Brazil's massive political bureaucracy as he 
lights to save his society. At the Edge of Conquest, 
Realis Pictures, 32 Union Square East, Suite 8 1 6, 
NcwYork,NY10003;(212)505-1911;fax:(212) 
505-1179. 



Exploring the changing relationship between 
gay men's erotic lives, identity, and the politics of 
sexuality, A Geography of Desire, by Robert 
Rosenberg, explores the sexual lives of gay men 
from the 1970s to the present. The film maps New 
York's gay sexual spaces from the Christopher 
Street piers to the Central Park Ramble. A Geog- 
raphy of Desire, Magnus Movies, 663 DeGraw 
St, #3, Brooklyn, NY 1 1217; (718) 783-8432. 

Bill Simonett's Fare Game (58 min., 16mm) 
takes viewers inside the thriving rural industry of 
game farms and shooting preserves, where entre- 
preneurial farmers are creating a new industry by 
raising live game birds that hunters pay to kill. 
Fare Game raises provocative questions about the 
desire for tradition in a world of diminishing 
resources. Fare Game, Carousel Films, 218 Oak 
Grove St, Suite 303, Minneapolis, MN 55403; 
(612) 871-6084; fax: (612) 933-81 14. 

The camera is a character in its own right in 
Walter Ungerer's experimental film Leaving the 
Harbor. People on screen talk to the camera; 
characters walk in and out of the frame; the crew 
prompts from offscreen, while the camera may or 
may not follow the action. Leaving the Harbor, 
Dark Horse Films, Box 982, Montpclier, VT 
05602; (802) 223-3967. 

When an Orthodox Jew from Vienna arrived 
on Ellis Island at the turn of the century, who knew 
she would fall in love with an Irish-Catholic? Bob 
Giges' oral history documentary My Yiddishe 
Momme McCoy celebrates the half-century in- 
terfaith romance between 90-year-old Belle 
Demner and Bernie McCoy as it sheds light on the 
immigrant experience at the beginning of the 
twentieth century. Giges' Bach LivesL.At David 
Cope's House explores composer Cope's use of 
a computer technology to compose music strik- 
ingly similar to that of Mozart, Bach, and Joplin. 
The 25-minute video lakes a critical look at this 
compositional technology from the perspective of 
musicians, concertgoers, computer scientists, and 
educators. My Yiddishe Momme McCoy and Bach 
Lives!, Giges Productions, 1740 Escalona Drive, 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060; (408) 423-5023. 



Attention Chicago 
AIVF members 

The June issue of The Independent will feature a 
special regional report on Chicago. Send photos 
and information about your work-in-progress or 
recently completed productions to: In & Out, AIVF, 
625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012. 



40 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



Domestic 

FIRST RUN FILM FESTIVAL, Apr. 26-May 2, NY. Fest 
is a 51-yr-old NYC tradition celebrating efforts & 
achievements of student filmmakers at the Institute of 
Film & TV, Tisch School of the Arts. Fest features 150 
film & animation works over 7 days & provides 
opportunity for film devotees to see next generation of 
innovative, ind. filmmakers. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Contact: Steven A. Sills, Tisch School of the Arts, New 
York University. Department of Film & Television. 
Undergraduate Division, 721 Broadway, 9th fl. New 
York, NY 10003; (212) 998-1700. 

FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL, May 28-June 6, FL. 
Invitational expo of film at Enzian Theater focuses on 
film as art. Showcases 20 artists & invites int'l entries in 
animation (experimental, computer, traditional), doc, 
avant-garde & experimental cats. Shorts programmed 
w/ features. Incl. awards, galas, seminars, showcases. 
Audience approx. 10,000. Formats: 35mm. 16mm. video 
(computer animation only); preview on 1/2". Deadline: 
Mar. 15. Contact: MarkMullen, Enzian Theater. 1300S. 
Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32751; (407) 629-1088; 
fax: (407) 629-6870. 

JEWISH FILM FSTIVAL, Jul. 25-29, CA. Estab. 1981. 
noncompetitive fest. now in 13th yr & held in Berkeley 
& San Francisco, accepts contemporary films w/ Jewish 
subject matter; filmmaker need not be Jewish. All genres 
accepted. No entry fee. Formats: 3/4", 1/2", 35mm, 
16mm; preview on cassette. Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: 
Deborah Kaufman/Janis Plotkin, Jewish Film Festival, 
2600 10th St, Berkeley, CA 94710; (510)548-0556; fax: 
(510)548-0536. 

NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL MEDIA MARKET, May 

19-21, CA. Market, now in 7th annual edition, is for 
educational, cultural & special interest media & is 
showcase forfilm & video producers seeking distribution 
of new works in educational, institutional, broadcast & 
home video markets. Takes place during the Nat! 
Educational Film & Video Festival in Oakland. Films, 
videos & interactive media eligible. Entry fees: S25 for 
prods already entered in 1993 Nat'l Educational Film & 
Video Festival competition; $55 all otherprods. Deadline: 
Apr. 9; submissions accepted thru Apr. 30 w/ late fee. 
Contact: Kate Spohr, National Educational Media 
Market, 655 13th St, Oakland, CA 94612-1220; (510) 
465-6885; fax: (510) 465-2835. 

NORTH CAROLINA INTERNATIONAL FILM AND 
VIDEO FESTIVAL, June, NC. Certificates & cash 
awarded in following cats: narrative, experimental, doc, 
animation, juror's award, southern ind. film, multicultural 
fim subject. North Carolina filmmaker. Open completion 
date. Entry fee: $20; $5 each additional entry. Formats: 
16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Deadline: Apr. 15. Contact: Jennifer 
Horton, Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland 
County, P.O. Box 318, Fayetteville. NC 28302; (919) 
323-1776; fax: (919) 323-1727. 

ONION CITY EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL, May 

14-16, JL. Sponsored by Experimental Film Coalition, 
"committed to excellence in exhibition of all vital & 
diverse forms of experimental film, to support community 
which produces these films & to provide information & 
access for community & general public interested in 
medium." Entries must have been completed after Mar. 
1, 1991. Fest accepts all genres of experimental film. 
Entry fee: $15 members/students; $20 nonmembers. 
Formats: 16mm,super8;previewon3/4", 1/2". Deadline: 
Apr. 5. Contact: Johnny White, Experimental Film 



This month's festivals have been 
compiled by Kathryn Bowser, director 
of the FIVF Festival Bureau. Listings do 
not constitute an endorsement. Since 
some details change faster than we 
do, we recommend that you contact 
the festival for further information 
before sending prints or tapes. In order 
to improve our reliability and make 
this column more beneficial to 
independents, we encourage all film- 
and videomakers to contact FIVF 
Festival Bureau with their personal 
festival experiences, positive and 
negative. 

Coalition, 1467 S. Michigan Ave, 3rd fl, Chicago, IL 
60605; (312) 986-1823. 

SINKING CREEK FILM/VIDEO FESTIVAL, June 19- 
26, TN. Leading Southern showcase & competition, 
now in 24th yr. for ind.. noncommercial films & videos 
of all lengths & genres. Cats: animation, narrative, 
experimental & doc $8,000 in awards. Fest & Sarratt 
Gallery also request proposals from multimedia artists 
for installation June 20-July 20 to be part of fest. Formats: 
16mm. 3/4". Deadline: Apr. 23. Contact: Meryl Truett, 
exec, director. Sinking Creek Film/Video Festival. 402 
Sarratt, Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN 37240; (615) 322- 
4234; fax: (615) 343-8081. 

SLICE OF LIFE FILM AND VIDEO SHOWCASE, July 9- 

10, PA. 1 1th annual fest features competitively-chosen, 
observational doc films & videos "which depict special 
moments of everyday life — those moments of truth & 
beauty that would otherwise go unrecognized." Narrative 
works & works longer than 30 min. not accepted. 
Winning producers brought to fest, receive cash prize & 
participate in "Meet the Artists" public reception & 
professionals' conference. Fest held during annual 
Central PA Fest of the Arts. Audiences in 1992 totalled 
1,700. Entry fee: $25. Formats: 16mm. 3/4"; preview on 
1/2". Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: Sedgwick Heskett, 
director. Documentary Resource Center. PO Box 909, 
Lemont, PA 16851; (814) 234-1945; fax: (814) 234- 
0939. 

STUDENT ACADEMY AWARDS, June, CA. 20th yr of 
competition for works by US college & univ. students 
supports & encourages filmmakers w/ no previous 
professional exp. Gold, Silver & Bronze Awards (incl. 
cash of $2,000, $ 1 .500 & $ 1 ,000) for outstanding student 
filmmaking in animation, doc, dramatic, experimental 
cats. Entries must be made in student/teacher relationship 
in school setting & completed after Apr. 1 . 1 992. 60 min. 
max. length. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Must submit entries 
through regional coordinators: ME, NH, VT, MA. RI. 
CT to Gerald Perry, Boston Univ. School of Broadcasting 
& Film, Attn: Student Academy Award, 640 
Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02125, (617) 353- 



3483; NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, OH, VA, WV, KY to 
Warren Bass, Dir., MFA Program, Radio-TV-Film. 
Temple Univ., Philadelphia 19122. (215) 787-1666; 
NY, Puerto Rico to Daniel Glick. Brooklyn College 
Film Dept.. Bedford Ave & Ave H, Brooklyn, NY 
1 1210, (718) 951-5057; NC, SC, TN, AR, GA, AL, FL, 
MS, LA, OK, TX, CO. NM. UT, AZ to Virgil Grillo/ 
Marcia Johnston. Film Studies Dept, Univ. of Colorado, 
Hunter 102. Boulder. CO 80309-03 1 6, (303) 492- 1531; 
MI, IN, WI, MN, IL. IA, ND. SD, NE, KS. MO to Dan 
Ladely. Mary Riepma Ross Film Theater, Univ. of NE, 
Lincoln, NE, (402) 472-5353; MT, WY, ID, NV, AK, 
WA, OR, N. C A to Bill Foster/Heather Krug, Northwest 
Film Ctr., Portland Art Museum, 1 2 1 9 SW Park. Portland, 
OR 97205, (503) 221-1156; S. CA, HI to Donald J. 
Zirpola. Communication Arts Dept., Loyola Marymount 
Univ., Loyola Blvd. at W. 80th St., Los Angeles, CA 
90045, (310) 338-3033. Deadline: Apr. 1. Contact: 
Regional Coordinator or Richard Miller, awards 
administrator. Academy of Motion Picture Arts & 
Sciences, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 9021 1 - 
1972: (310) 247-3000; fax: (310) 859-9619. 

UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI FILM SOCIETY FILM 
& VIDEO FESTIVAL, May 29. OH. Second edition of 
fest for college and independent filmmakers. Accepts 
animation, live action, doc, and "a variety of alternative 
categories." Entrants must be at least 18 yrs old. No 
entry fees; prize money totalling $1,300. Submt in 
16mm or VHS. Deadline: Mar 31. For rules & entry 
form, contact: 2nd Annual Film & Video Festival, Univ. 
of Cincinnati Film Society, Mail location #136, 
Cincinnati. OH 45221; attn: R.C. Frey; (513) 556- 
FILM; fax:(513)556-3313. 



Foreign 



HAMBURG NO-BUDGET SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, 

May 27-31. Germany. 9th edition of fest is forum for 
int'l short films & videos of all types & formats up to 20 
min. 3 competitions: No Budget (under 15 min., awards 
Hamburg Short Film Prize; jury award & audience 
award; no films/videos financed by public orcommercial 
support); Steppin' Out (under 20 min., awards Hamburg 
Short Film Prize, jury award, audience award, may be 
subsidized); 3-Minute Quicky (3 min. max, theme: 
"Chinese"). Special programs incl. Animationfilm, First 
Steps (1st short films by famous directors); Hamburg 
Shorts (best short films from Hamburg); Trash Nite 
(videos "from the bin"); Vision Bar (submitted & refused 
films on video). Organized by newly founded Hamburg 
ShortFilmAgency, center for promotion of short films. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, super 8, 1/2" 3/4", Hi8, Beta; 
preview on cassette. Deadline: Mar.31. Contact: 
KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg e.V., Hamburger 
Kurzfilmfestival NO BUDGET, Glashuttenstrasse 27, 
D-2000 Hamburg 36, Germany; tel: 49 4043 44 99; fax: 
49 40 43 27 03. 

HUESCA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SHORT 
FILMS, May 28-June 5, Spain. This competitive fest for 
films under 30 min. divided into 3 sections: int'l contest, 
informative & retros. No restriction on themes, except 
tourism & publicity films not presented. Entries must 
have been completed after Jan. 1, 1992. Awards, 
presented by 9-person int'l jury : Prix "Ciudad de Huesca", 
Golden Danzante (500,000 ptas); Silver Danzante (best 
film w/ plot); Silver Danzante (best animated); Silver 
Danzante (bestdoc); Bronze Danzante. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm. Deadline: Apr. 1 . Contact: Festival Int'l de Films 
de Court-Metrage "Ciudad de Huesca," Duquesa de 



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Villahermosa.2, 1*. 22001 Huesca,Spain;tel:3497422 
70 58; fax: 34 9 74 24 66 00. 

LOCARNO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 
3-13, Switzerland. Now in its 46th yr, fest hailed by 
1993 Int'l Film Guide as "1 of world's top half dozen 
fests" w/ reputation for innovative programming & 
support of alternative visions from ind. directors. Unique 
open air screenings in Piazza Grande, which holds 
7,000. Special sections & out-of-competition screenings. 
Competition accepts 1st, 2nd & 3rd fiction features by 
new directors, art films, low budget films, indies & 
cinema d'auteur. Must be over 60 min., only European 
premieres accepted, completed within previous 12 
months. Educational, advertising & scientific films 
ineligible. Prizes: Golden Leopard (Grand Prix) & City 
of Locarno Grand Prize (30,000 SF); Silver Leopard 
(Grand Prix de Jury) & 2nd Prize of City of Locarno 
(15,000 SF); Bronze Leopard & 3rd Prize of City of 
Locarno (5000 SF). Films should be subtitled in French. 
Fest provides 5 day hospitality to director plus one rep. 
of films in competition. More than 100 buyers chosen 
from biggest US, European & Japanese distributors & 
TVs. Format: 35mm, 16mm. Deadline: May 1 . Contact: 
(in NY) Norman Wang/Sophie Gluck, (212) 758-8535; 
fax: (212) 888-2830; (in LA) Alberto Garcia (213) 344- 
3753; in Locarno: Marco Muller, director, Locarno 
International Film Festival, Via dellaPosta 6, CH-6600, 
Locarno, Switzerland. 

ODENSE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, July 30- 
Aug. 5, Denmark. Biennial competitive fest for short 
films, held "in spirit of Hans Christian Andersen 
...celebration of unusual films w/ original & imaginative 
sense of creative delight." Cats are fairytale & exper- 
imental/imaginative, live or animated, up to 60 min. 
running time. Entries must have been produced after 
Aug. 1, 1989 & not previously shown at fest. Awards: 
1st Prize (Statuette & DKK.50.000); 2nd Prize to most 
imaginative film (Statuette & DKK20.000); 3rd Prize to 
most surprising film (Statuette & DKK 15,000); 4-8th 
Prizes (Statuettes awarded by each member of jury to 
her/his own personal choice). Fest also has Danish 
Youth Jury which awards 1st Prize of Statuette & 
DKK5.000 & 2nd & 3rd Prizes of DKK2.000. In 1993, 
organizers plan to celebrate 1 00 yrs of "Li ving Images," 
focusing on pioneers who paved way for film to become 
new art form. Film may be shown on Danish TV w/ 
payment of normal fee to producer. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm; preview on cassette. Deadline: May 1 . Contact: 
10th Int'l Odcnse Film Festival, Slotsgade 5, DK-5000 
Odense C, Denmark; tel : 45 66 1 3 1 372 ext 4294; fax: 45 
65914318. 

WELLINGTON FILM FESTIVAL, July, New Zealand. 
Noncompetitive fest, now in 22nd yr, devised to 
encourage screening of new films which might not 
otherwise have been brought to New Zealand. Selections 
incl. both feature & short films that are New Zealand 
premieres. Sponsored by New Zealand Federation of 
Film Societies & Wellington Film Society, which also 
present Auckland Int'l Film Fest. Highlights of both 
fests are selected to screen in travelling film fest in South 
Island cities ofChristchurch&Dunedin. About 60 films 
from over 20 countries shown annually to audiences of 
about 100,000. No entry fee. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; 
preview on cassette. Deadline: Apr. 30. Contact: Bill 
Gosden, festival director, Wellington Film Festival, 
Box 9544, Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand; tel: 64 4 
850 162; fax: 64 4 801 7304. 



42 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



Buy ■ Rent ■ Sell 



1/4" TAPE RECORDERS-Technics RS10A02-2 track, 
$850; Crown 822SX-2 track. $500: Ashley SC55 stereo 
compression limiter. $100: NEI 342 parametric eq, 
$100: Sony PCM-1 turn VCR to digital recorder, $150; 
Ashley SC68 Notch filter, $100. Mike (212) 246-1517. 

USED EQUIPMENT WANTED! Ind. producer needs 
shotgun & lavaliere microphones, lights & stands. Hi8/ 
S-VHS cameras & editors, video monitors & tripods. I 
will be in NYC buying equipment in March. Call Gary 
Wortzel (508) 692-0178. 

7 PLASTIC YAKS, collection of video art from Kirk-o- 
Matic (TM). 30-min. VHS incls: Dart Hole, Royal Con 
Aqua, Apes in Shades & Big State Prawn OFF, Big Bro! 
Great for museums, access TV, PBS, video art, video 
fest. Send $12 to P.O. Box 163773. Austin, TX 78716. 

NEW EQUIPMENT at fair price. Call (814) 333-8672 
ext. 2 for pricing on Lowell light. AKG, A-T, Bogen, 
Elmo. Fostex Systems, Sennheiser, Sony TCD5ProIl. J. 
Carpenter. 

COMPLETE BROADCASTING PKG for sale. Incl. Sony 
DXC-3000 CCD camera w/ Fujinon lens, tripod & A/C. 
BVU-110 w/ batts & A/C. Sennheiser lavalier mic. 
Lowell light kit w/ gels & accessories. Stands, arms & 
clamps. Asking $5,500 or best offer. (718) 392-6058. 

HI8 CAMCORDER & 3/4" DECK, cheap! Only 6 hrs on 
the Ricoh Hi8 camcorder complete w/ Nakamichi omni/ 
dir & Sony lav. mics, extra battery, bag & tripod, asking 
$ 1 .250. Sony VU- 1 800 3/4" player/recorder, mint, $400. 
(212)353-3939. 

16MM EDITING EQUIPMENT: Moviola 6-plate flatbed 
(M86A), rewinds, splicer, trim bins, hot splicer, 
synchronizers, etc. Equip a complete editing room for 
$6,500 or best offer. Setup al so avail, for rent in Newton, 
MA. Call Ben (617) 524-0980. 

BUILD YOUR OWN high-quality, inexpensive dolly! 
Instructional booklet, S10; booklet with how-to video. 
$30. Send check or money order to Insight Productions. 
P.O. Box 384, Buffalo, NY 14215. 

OXBERRY 35MM & 16MM RENTALS in Rochester. NY 
animation studio. Low commercial rates & special rates 
for ind. film prods. Fred Armstrong or Skip Battaglia 
(716)244-6550. 

REAL FACTS ABOUT DESKTOP VIDEO EDITING 

details Hi8 & S-VHS tech ($24.95 + S3 shipping; in NY 
add $2.05 tax). Also avail: Hi8/S-VHS systems & 
consulting service. Contact: Desktop Video Systems, 
Box 668, Peck Slip Sta., New York, NY 10272; (212) 
285-1463. 

ARRI SR/NAGRA SN PKG, suitable for 1 person pix/ 
sound operation. Zeiss 10- 100mm zoom plus 4 addt'l 
lenses, 2 mags, speed control, J-4/J-5 zoom & more. 
Mint condition. Single owner, price list & photos avail.. 
Call (617) 426-4266. 

FOR SALE: Complete 3/4" video editing system: 3x3/4" 
U-matic videocassette recorders VO5800, 5850, 5600; 
Sony automatic editing control unit RM-440; 2x12" 
Sony Trinitron monitors; 19" Proton 619S monitor. 
Good condition, dpi (212) 925-6848/fax 3424. 

PANASONIC PORTABLE PACKAGE U-MATIC: WV- 

3400 camera/6- 1 zoom, NV-9400 player/recorder/UC A- 
20's only , NV-B50 power supply w/ 2 batteries, manuals, 
all cables. All excellent cond., recently overhauled. 
$2,500 or best offer. Call John (313) 987-1344. 



Each entry in the Classifieds column 
has a 250-character limit & costs $25 
per issue. Ads exceeding this length 
will be edited. Payment must be made 
at the time of submission. Anyone 
wishing to run a classified more than 
once must pay for each insertion & 
indicate the number of insertions on 
the submitted copy. Each classified 
must be typed, double-spaced & 
worded exactly as it should appear. 
Deadlines are the 8th of each month, 
two months prior to the cover date 
(e.g. March 8 for the May issue). Make 
check or money order — no cash, 
please — payable to FIVF, 625 
Broadway, 9th floor, New York, NY 
10012. 

FOR SALE: Time code, stereo Nagra IV-S NQS-TC w/ 
Aaton interface. Takes 7" reels: Kangaroo field case. 
Excellent condition, dpi (212) 925-6848/fax 3424. 

FOR SALE: 2 SUPER 8 CAMERAS. Chinon 12 SMR- 
Direct Sound & Canon 814-XL S: both in very good 
condition. Call & make offer. (817) 562-5796. 

FOR SALE: STEENBECK 16MM 8 PLATE w/ 2-track 
heads. 2 screens, large rewind, S/N 4 1 077705494. Good 
condition. Also 2 rewind tables, 2x4-gang synchronizers. 
2 input amplifiers, bins; Moviescope; 3x1 6mm Rivas 
Splicers; split reels, dpi (212) 925-6848/fax 3424. 

FILMMAKERS. Over 1 .000 fi lm & video prod companies 
accepting resumes. Positions: directors, cinemato- 
graphers, prod assistants, interns, etc. For list of over 
1 ,000 US companies send $9.95 check/money order to 
Virgil Magee, 1449 S. Lawndale, Chicago, IL 60623- 
1543. 

FOR SALE: 3/4" SONY TRINICON video camera #DXC- 
1800, plastic carrying case; Sony U-matic portable 
videocassette recorder VO-4800; AC power adaptor; 
JVC monitor TM-22U. Good shape, dpi (212) 925- 
6848/fax 3424. 

UPRIGHT 16MM MOVIOLA, new Eiki projector. B&H 
projectors, rewind table, rewinds, viewer. Location 
services avail, (lights, 16mm camera, sound, generator, 
motorhome) & postprod services (sound transfers & 
mix, editing, optical printing). (201) 465-1965. 

FOR SALE: CP GSMO CAMERA with 2-400' mags, 
Angenieux 9.5-57 Century 5.7, B&S 300mm lenses, 
cases. $6,400. 6-plate Steenbeck $5,600. (814) 234- 
1945.(404)233-7375. 

OFFICE SHARE AVAIL.: Furnished, fax, Xerox, A/C. 
Greatfor writer/filmmaker/consultants. Good rent. Great 
bldg. Call Susan: (212) 219-9224. Avail. Feb. 1, 1993. 

LA SUBLET Mar. 15-July 15 (dates flexible). Beautiful 
view. Very sunny, airy, furnished 2-bedroom apt in 



house. Spacious terrace w/ great 1 80 degree view, yard, 
washer/dryer, dishwasher. Convenient to everything, 
incl. freeways. $l,100/mo. Call (213) 665-2900. 

Distribution 

SHORT FILMS SOUGHT for Amer. Independent Short 
Prog, in Brazil. Fiction, experimental & animated under 
30 min. Selections screened at Sao Paulo Int'l Short 
Film Fest, Aug. 1993. Send 1/2" VHS preview: Lee/ 
Cange, 70 RemsenSt,#lH, Brooklyn, NY 11201; (71 8) 
596-2595. 

INT'L FEST OF SHORT FILMS seeks films for new 
compilations. 1st & 2nd feature-length pkgs of live- 
action shorts currently touring N. America. Contact: 
Andalusian Pictures, 1081 CaminodelRioS.#125.San 
Diego, CA 92108; (800) 925-CINE; fax: (619) 497- 
0811. 

VARIED DIRECTIONS, distributor of child abuse health 
tapes, seeks socially important films/videos. Long & 
successful track record due to selectivity & attention to 
programs we choose. Contact: Joyce. 69 Elm St, Camden. 
ME 04843; (800) 888-5236. 

ALTERNATIVE FILMWORKS, nat'l distributor of 
experimental narrative & docs, seeks work. No 
mainstream films, please. Send VHS, Hi8 or 8mm copy 
to: Alternative Film works, Dept IC, 259 Oakwood Ave., 
State College, PA 16803; (814) 867-1528. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational mkts. Educa- 
tional Productions distributes videos on early childhood 
education, special ed. & parent ed. Linda Freedman, 
Educational Productions, 741 2 SW Beaverton Hillsdale 
Hwy, Portland, OR 97225. (800) 950-4949. 

NEW DAY FILMS, self-distribution coop for ind. 
producers, celebrates its 20th anniv. & seeks new 
members w/ social issue docs for US nontheatrical mkts. 
Deadline: April 1, 1993. Contact: New Day Films, 121 
W. 27 St, Suite 902, New York, NY 10001; (212) 645- 
8548. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational & health care 
markets. Fanlight Productions distributes films/videos 
in areas of health, sociology, psychology, etc. Brenda 
Shanley, Fanlight Prods, 47 Halifax St, Boston, MA 
02130; (617) 524-0980. 

AIDS, HEALING & HEALTHCARE ISSUES. Send us 
new work to preview. Aquarius Prods distributes 
selective, award-winning videos. We work w/ producers 
to help meet your needs. Leslie Kussmann, Aquarius 
Prods, 35 Main St, Wayland, MA 01778; (508) 651- 
2963. 

Freelancers 

ASSOC. PROD, sought by WNET for 6-mo assignment 
w/ Great Performances. Program dev., scheduling, pkg, 
delivery, budgets, staffing. BA/BS in music or equiv. 
exp. req. Min. 2 yrs exp. in music docs & multicam live 
recordings. Send resume & sal. req: Human Resources, 
356 W. 58th St., NY, NY 10019; fax: (212) 560-6865. 

SEEKINGTALENTEDEDITORSforfreelance&possible 
staff position in small prod. co. Need exp. on-line editor, 
comfortable w/ Sony 910 & clients. Creative off-line 
editors w/ knowledge of WF monitors & RM450. Send 
resume: Solstein, 175 Claremont Ave, NY, NY 10027. 

INTERNS WANTED (NYC) as editing assts on 
experimental doc shot in Lebanon. Preferably fluent in 



MARCH 1993 



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VIDEO ACQUISITION/ EDITING - AT RECESSION PRICES! 

acquisition location packages: ikegami hc 340 w sony beta 

SP: P VV-5 :$350 DAY/ HC 340 w S-VHS BR-S411U:$200 DAY / H!-8 CCD V5000: $100 DAY/ 
Packages Incl: Batteries, Charger, AC. power converter, Fluid-head Tripod, Lowel Tota-light kit., Field 
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Betacam playback adaptor. Price breaks after 2 consecutive days. Wkly discounts, . 

— — — EDITING IN -HOUSE: SONY BETA SP- AMIGA- 
M M M TOASTER 2.0 combination at 3/4* SP prlcesl / Bump HI-8, S-VHS, 
or 3/4" to BETA SP in- house, adding SMPTE TC. or window dub 
VVAVE M M M to any format:: $30 HR/ Edit 2 machines BETA SP to BETA SP: $45 

hrw ed. plus TOASTER 2,, and AMILINK edit controller w auto 
EDL/ 2 machines, self-service: only $20 hr./ Edit A-B roll (3 machines) 
BETA SP w TOASTER 2. DVE, auto assembly mastering: $60 hrw 
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MEDIA 




English & Arabic. Project centrally involves questions 
of doc, politics & representation. Contact: Walid Ra'ad 
(716) 271-2992 or Annie Goldson (401) 273-6335. 

HOME OR ABROAD: Prod, company w/int'l experience 
fully outfitted w/ compact Sony Hi8 gear/film-style 
audio ready to work in far & distant lands. Can take 
project from preprod. through the final edit. Call Dan 
(212)628-0178. 

A-B ROLL EDITING, Hi8, 3/4" SP to Betacam. Amilink 
VT, Toaster 2.0. frame accurate editing, list management. 
CMX EDL. Floppy. Off-line, on-line capable. $50/hr w/ 
editor. Hi8 transfer 3/4" SP/Belacam for $25/hr. Call 
Mike (212) 246-1517. 

STEADICAM for film & video. Special rates for inde- 
pendents. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 228-4254. 

TRANSCRIPTIONS/TRANSLATIONS & interpretation 
in English, Spanish & French by native speakers. Call 
(212) 477-0688; beeper: (212) 404-9462. 

AWARD-WINNING CAMERAMAN w/ Sony BVW- 
300A 1 -piece Betacam SP camcorder pkg. The best 
resolution & light sensitivity available. Can rent camera 
out as well. Call Scott Sinkler (212) 721-3668. 

AWARD-WINNING CAMERAMAN w/ 1 6mm Aaton, 
Betacam SP & Stcadicam, looking for challenging 
projects. Partial client list: ABC Sports, Atlantic Records, 
IBM, Pitney Bowes, Wilderness Society. Complete 
crews avail. Reasonable rates. Mike Carmine (718) 224- 
3355. 

MOOD SWINGS, real life, nuance & passion... (these are 
a few of my favorite things.) Composer/producer with 
nat'l network credits seeks film/video projects. Own 
digital facility for acoustic/electronic scores. Steve 
Raskin (212) 219-1620. 

BETACAM SP: Award-winning cameraman w/ BVW 
507 field pkg will work w/in your budget. Equip, pkg. 
incl. Vinten tripod. DP kit, wide-angle lens, Neuman 
KMR8 1 , Lavs & Toyota 4-Runner. BVP7/BVW 35 pkg 
& full postprod. services. Hal (201) 662-7526. 

BETACAM SP. $450/day. Cameraman w/ Ikegami 
HL79E/BVW-35SP looking for interesting short-term 
projects. Corp., industrial, doc. Incl. tripod, mics, monitor, 
lighting. 5-passenger van incl. 3/4" Sony off-line editing 
suite, $ 1 5/hr. Tom (212) 279-7003. 

CINEM ATOGR APHER w/ Aaton pkg (super 1 6 compa- 
tible) including Zeiss super speeds. Good rates, credits 
incl. docs, music videos, commercial, narratives. Call to 
see reel. Eliot (212) 979-5372. 

BETACAM SP field prod, w/ Sony Broadcast BVW 
400 camcorder, best & most light-sensitive camera 
avail. Complete sound, lighting, gripequip. incl. stabilizer 
for stcadicam shots. Exp. DP & crew. Color correction 
and full editing avail. (212) 226-7686. 

EXPERIENCED COMPOSER avail, to write/orchestrate 
music for film, video, doc. Versatile, insightful, works 
w/in deadline. Has own MIDI studio. NY & vicinity. 
Demo tape & resume" avail. Kahn-Ellis (2 1 5) 725-38 16. 

GERMAN CINEMATOGRAPHER, award-winning, 
avail, in New York area. Owner of 16mm Aaton pkg 
incl. Zeiss Superspeeds. Will travel. Wolfgang Held 
(212)620-0029. 

BETACAM SP LOCATION PKG w/ technician, $400/ 
day. Incl. lights, mics & Sachler Tripod. Same but non- 
SP Beta, 3/4" or Hi8, $300. Also avail.: window dubs. 



44 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



Betacam. Hi8. VHS & 3/4". Electronic Visions. (212) 
691-0375. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTY, frequent contributor to Legal 
Brief columns in The Independent & other mags, offers 
legal svcs to film & video community on projects from 
development thru distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact 
Robert L. Seigel. Esq.. (212) 545-9085. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY avail, for dramatic 16 

or 35mm prods of any length. Credits include 
Metropolitan. Call to see my reel. John Thomas (201) 
783-7360. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 35mm Arriflex 
BL, Zeiss Superspeeds, zoom, video tap + lighting/grip. 
Exp. shooting in Philippines, Mexico & Middle East. 
Feature, commercial & music video credits. Call for 
reel. Blain Brown: (212) 279-0162. 

HIS PRODUCTION & EDITING. 1- & 3-chip cameras, 
Steadicam Jr. Cameramen. Edit w/ digital efx. frame 
accuracy & slow motion w/ Sony EVO 9700. Dubs to & 
from 3/4" & SVHS. Film transfers. Low rates. (718) 
482-0962 or beep (212) 461-0063. 

BETACAM PKG (reg. or SP) w/ tripod, lights, mics. 
shotgun & van avail. Award-winning cameraman & 
crew avail. Fast & reliable. Broadcast quality. Call Eric 
(718)389-7104. 

CAMERAMAN w/ equip. Credits incl. 4 features (35 & 
16mm), news & doc (CBS, BBC. PBS), ads. industrials 
& music vids. 16mm & Betacam pkgs w/ lights, mics, 
crew & van. Strong visual sense. Personable & reasonable 
rates. Call for demo. Eric (718) 389-7104. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 10 feature credits 
including Straight Out of Brooklyn, Walts & Bridges. 
Self-owned 35/1 6 camera systems w/ video assist. Light/ 
elec./grip pkg, sync sound recording system. Lowest 
Rates! Call John Rosnell (212) 366-5030. 

CAMERMAN. Aaton super 16mm & Hi8 pkgs. Feature 
film, commercial, doc industrial & music video 
experience. Flexible rates. High-quality work within 
your budget. Call for reel. Dave Goldsmith (718) 260- 
8912. 

16MM PROD PKG w/ detail-oriented cameraman from 
S 1 50/day . Includes CP- 1 6 camera, w/ fluid head. Nagra, 
Sennheisermics. Lowell lights, dolly & track, grip kit w/ 
mini-van. Complete film editing also avail. Tom (201) 
933-6698. 

1ST ASSISTANT CAMERAMAN avail. Excellent for all 
projects. Extensive work w/ renowned ASC, DP. Bi- 
coastal, negotiable rate. Call Floyd (718) 789-3567. 

TAX ACCOUNTANT. Experienced with freelancers. 
Knowledgeable in New York State, NJ, PA, MA, CA 
taxation, sales tax & NYC rent tax. Call for FREE 
newsletter. J. Kallus (212) 727-9811. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY AVAIL, for 16/35mm 
prods of any length. Doc, music videos, shorts & low- 
budget feature films. Bi-coastal, negotiable rate. Call to 
see my reel. Floyd Ranee (718) 789-3567. 

RESEARCHER will locate stock film/video footage & 
still photographs & perform content research. Contact 
Francisco Gonzalez at 173 Avenue C, Apt 5B. NYC 
10009. (212) 387-9364. 

SU-CITY PICTURES PRESENTS: The Screenplay Doctor 
& The Movie Mechanic-Professional story editors/post- 
prod specialists will analyze your screenplay or treatment 



Media 



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Use any one of our 7 News/ Anchor/ Interview sets for all 
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Contact: Elyse Rabinowitz, Director of Sales 

NTVIC, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1018, NYC 10020 

Phone: 212-489-8390 Fax: 212-489-8395 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 45 



WHERE 
EXPERIENCE 

SHOWS 




Serving The Independent Filmmaker For Oner 20 Years. 

A Black. White and Color Full Service Lab 

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Film lo Video Transfer 

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Student Rates Available 



Film Craft Video 

37630 Interchange Drive • Farmington Hills, Ml 48335 
Sales Office 313 474-3900 • Fax 313 474-8535 

Film Craft Laboratories 

66 Sibley Street • Detroit, Ml 48201 
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and experienced crews are available! 



INTERAMERICAN PRODUCTIONS, INC. 

59 St. James Place 
fax (212) 791-2709 New York, New York 10038 phone (212) 732-1647 

46 THE INDEPENDENT 



& evaluate your film-in-progress. Major studio & ind. 
background. Reasonable rates. Call (212) 219-9224. 

ACTOR looking for serious work. If interested please 
call. Ask for Tim. (908) 906-8312. 

VANGUARD CONSULTING, division of Vanguard 
Entertainment, offers comprehensive consulting 
services: legal services; strategic planning in areas of 
finance, marketing & distribution; script consulting. 
Reasonable rales. Call (212) 769-7157. 

COMPLETE BETACAM SP PKGS. Lights & sound 
included. Experienced crews avail.. Reasonable rales. 
Larry Scharf Productions. (212) 431-0887. 



Preproduction 



SCRIPT SUPERVISION WORKSHOP: May 7, 8, 9 (Fri. 
eve. 5:30-9:30, Sat. & Sun. 9-6) in New York City w/ 
Lynne Twentyman. IATSE 161 871 (credits incl. Doc 
Hollywood, All Thai Jazz). Covers feature film, series 
TV & commercials. $295/session. Limited enrollment. 
(212)580-0677. 

HIS SEMINARS. Eric Solstein's free Hi8 seminars are 
back! Basic Hi8 prod, covers use of consumer cameras 
for highest quality results. Advanced program covers 
postprod. alternatives & alternative equip. Eric (212) 
481-3774. 

INDEPENDENT PRODUCER looking for script & 
director for low-budget feature film. Call Jaime Sanchez 
(212)754-9799. 

I WANT YOUR SCREENPLAY. Determined ind. film- 
maker seeks property for prod. Any style considered: 
dramatic, comic, unusual, mainstream. Fresh writing 
stands out from the pack. Submit yours to: The Kessler 
Company, P.O. Box 976, Village Station, NY, NY 
10014. 

WANTED: PROD DESIGNER, costume designer, sound 
mixer/designer, gaffer & editor for low-budget feature 
film to be shot in Hawaii in May/June 1993. Send 
resumes to: Lisa Onodera. 626 1/2 Santa Monica Blvd. 
Suite 204. Santa Monica, CA 90401. 

Postproduction 

16/SUPER- 16 6 PLATE RENTALS -Just $325 per month. 

free (reasonable) delivery. 2 month min. Splicers avail. 
Also Fast Track Dolly with 15' track, $30/day. Mini Jib 
(use on std. 1 00mm legs!), $45 day. MEDIA LOGIC 
(212)^924-3824. 

SUPER-16 8 PLATE in fully equipped 24-hr room w/ 
phone & 2 blocks from DuArt available from February 
27. 1-month minimum, $l,200/mo. Call Jerry (212) 
664-1631. 

3/4" OFF-LINE SYSTEM for rent. Cut at your location. 
Sony 9800/9850 decks (SP w/ Dolby & XLR output), 
RM 450 controller, Tascam 6-channel mixer w/ amp & 
speakers, 1 3" monitors w/blue & undcrscam.TC reader. 
Long/short-term rental. (718) 392-6058. 

16MM EDITING ROOM, great location, very low rates. 
Fully equipped w/ 6-plate Sleenbeck, 24-hr access, in 
East Village, safe & clean bldg. Daily, weekly or monthly 
rentals. Call Su at (212) 475-7186 or (718) 782-1920. 

3/4" SONY OFF-LINE editing sys. delivered to you & 
installed: $500/wk; $l,600/mo. 5850, 5800, RM440, 
Teac mixer, amplifier. 2 monitors, 2 speakers, black 
generator. Or edit in my space, 30th & 8th Ave. Betacam 
SP prod, pkg, $450/day. Tom (212) 279-7003. 

MARCH 1993 



3/4" SONY OFF-LINE editing system w/ comfortable 
office, telephone, fax machine, YHS viewing, many 
extras. West 72nd St. location. Call (212) 580-2727. 

EDIT IN THE COUNTRY. 3/4" SP Sony video edit 
system & 2 fully-equipped 16mm edit rooms w/ 
Steenbeck & Kern. Office/living space in brick 
Victorian. Edit help & prod pkg avail. Reasonable 
rates. GMP Films (413) 863-4754. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY: Super 8 & regular 8mm 
film-to-videomasters. scene-by-scene to 1 " & Betacam. 
By appointment only. New tel.: (508) 948-7985. 

16MM EDITING ROOM & OFFICE space for rent in 
suite of inds. Fully equipped w/ 6-plate Steenbeck & 
24-hr access. All windowed & new carpet. Located at 
W. 24th St & 7th Ave. Reasonable rates. Call Jeff at 
Film Partners (212) 366-5101. 

DO YOU RENT Sony Betacam 400's a lot or look to 
buy one? I have mint 400, 1 8x lens w/complete sound, 
lighting, & grip pkg. Looking for busy cameraperson 
to work it in exchange for unbeatable rate that costs 
less than renting or owning. Call (212) 226-7686. 

OFF-LINE AT HOME! Will rent 2 Sony 5850s w/ 
RM440 or RM450 edit controller & monitors. Low 
monthly rates. $650/wk. Answer your own phone & 
cut all night if you like! Betacam SP location crews 
avail., too. John (212) 245-1364 or 226-7686. 

SUPER 8MM FILM-TO-VIDEO transfer. To 1 ", Beta, 
Hi8. 3/4", VHS. Slo-mo, freeze, toaster EFX also. 
Standard 8. slides. 16mm also. Broadcast quality, low 
rates, personal service. Super 8 camera rental & music 
cinematography. Landy vision. (914) 679-7046. 

MUSIC/VOICE OVERS/SCORING. 1 6 track 1 ". All the 
effects. Mac. Midi. DAT, Otari half track, clean 
comfortable. 26th St. location. S25/hr (2 12) 229-9293. 

OFFLINE VIDEO EDITING: Well-maintained 3/4" & 
VHS editing decks, CD & cassette deck w/mixer, time 
code generator/reader, fax. phone. 24 hr access. 2 1 st St 
& 5th Ave.. S125/day & S550/week. Hrly rates avail. 
Call Red Barn Films (212) 982-6900. 



TAX TIME SHOPPING LIST 

Filing through Tears. Listen to Susan Lee 
and Cecil Feldman CPA explain uniform 
capitalization and other tax filing options for 
independent film and videomakers in AI VF's 
audiotaped 1988 seminar. $12.00 

Reprints from The Independent explain 
how the changes in tax law of 1988-1990 
affect independent artists. Learn what you 
need to know about uniform capitalization, 
safe harbor requirements, and their conse- 
quences. Free for AIVF members; $4 
nonmembers. Send SASE with 45(2 postage, 
to: AIVF 625 Broadway, 9th floor, New 
York,NY 10012. Orcall (212)473-3400 and 
charge to your Visa or Mastercard. 



Betacam SP Component On-Line Editing 

$165/hr 



Includes Editor and Character Generator 

Features: Sony BVE-910 edit controller, GVG-100CV Switcher, 
Slo-Motion, Color Corrector, Otari Vt", CD, Audio Cassette 



ALSO AVAILABLE 

Digital Effects: Component ADO-1 00 

With 3-D, Digimafte and Image innovator 

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HI-8 to Betacam SP Transfers 

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onlrack 



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STREET VIDEO, inc. (212) 594-7530 



HI8 TO BETA COMPONENT EDITING $75 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES (Ed t,ng rates pe rhour, 

Beta-Beta edit $75 HI8-Beta edit $75 

3/4-3/4 edit $55 HI8-3/4 edit $55 

3/4-3/4 self edit $35 VHS-VHS self edit $10 

Beta-Beta w/HI8 or 3/4 source in 3 machine system w/effects $95 

Amiga character generator pre-session $40 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $20 

Miicrogen character generator in session (in addition to edit) $10 

1 hour minimum on all editing services 



TIME CODE SERVICES (Rates pe rhour, 

Beta Time Code Generation $60 HI8 & 3/4 Time Code Generation ...$35 

Beta to VHS Burn-in $60 HI8 & 3/4 to VHS Burn-in $35 

1 hour minimun on all time code services 

PRODUCTION SERVICES (Daily rates/Broadcast) 

Betacam SP E.N.G. package w/crew of two $850 

Pro HI Band 8 E.N.G. package w/crew of two $600 



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After Hours 
212-567-3184 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 47 



Conferences ■ Seminars 

AMERICAN FILM WD VIDEO ASSOCIATION 

celebrates 50th anniv. in 1993. Special events incl. 35th 
American Film & Video Festival & Conference. Ma> 
26-30, Chicago. Theme: "New Technologies: Frontiers 
of Media Production" w/ demos of new tech, workshops 
on intellectual freedom, copyright/fair use. library 
security systems, etc. Contact: AFVA, Box 48659. 
Niles, IL 60714; (708) 698-6440. 

BENTON FOUNDATION announces 1 st Advocacy Video 
Conference on uses of video as advocacy tool, Washing- 
ton, DC, May 21-23. Public interest leaders, video 
producers & foundation executives invited. For info, 
incl. registration & video nomination forms, contact: 
Kay Johnson, Project Asst., Benton Fndtn, 1710 Rhode- 
Island. NW. Washington. DC 20036; (202) 857-7829. 
ext. 25; fax: (202) 857-7841. 

i ii \i \ IDEO ARTS provides support services for ind. 
media artists incl. education & training. Upcoming 
workshops incl.: Evolution of an Ind Producer w/Thomas 
Allen Harris (3/3); Directing Actors (3/ 10): Intermediate 
Video Editing w/ Beta SP (3/13); Intro to Animation (3/ 
3 1 ); Amiga Video Toaster (4/1 ); Intro to Video Editing 
(4/3); Location Sound Recording (4/3): Beginning 
Scrcenwriting (4/7). For info, contact: Media Training 
Dept., F/VA. 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003; 
(212)673-9371. 

Films ■ Tapes Wanted 

WI.I, GREASE, wkly public access program, seeks 
experimental, narrative, animation, doc & computer 
imaging under 27 min. Showcases video & film on 
Buffalo access & around US. Send 1/2", 3/4", Beta, 
8mm, or Hi8 tapes to: Axlegrease, c/o Squeaky Wheel, 
Buffalo Media Resources, 372 Connecticut St, Buffalo, 
NY 14213: (716)884-7172. 

BAD TWIN, NY-based prod./exhibition collective, seeks 
films under 30 min. for ongoing programs in Europe & 
US. Alternative approaches to all genres & forms 
welcomed. Must have finished 1 6mm prints avail. Submit 
VHS only for preview; incl. SASE for return. Contact: 
Bad Twin. P.O. Box 528, Cooper Stattion. New York, 
NY 10276. 

BRONXNET (Bronx Community Cable Programming 
Corporation), nonprofit organization controlling 4 access 
channels on Bronx Cable TV System, seeks works by 
ind. video & filmmakers for access airing. BRONXNET 
produces programs & whenever possible, facilitates & 
assistscommunity in producing & cablecasting programs 
for. by & about Bronx. Contact: Fred Weiss, program 
director. (718)960-1180. 

( ABLE ACCESS SHOW seeks short drama, doc. anima- 
tion & experimental films/videos. Interested parties 
should send 3/4" copies to: Quick Ricks c/o Eugene 
Haynes. 814 10th Ave, #3A. New York, NY 10019 or 
call (212)642-5236. 

CATHODE CAKE seeks short video art interstitials to 
play btwn alternative music videos on Seattle's TCI/ 
Viacom Channel 29, Sundays 9:30 p.m. Format: 3/4" 
preferred; 1/2" ok. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 Aiki Ave 
SW #305. Seattle. WA 981 16; (206) 937-2353. 

' ENTER FOR NEW rV(< M \ i seeks 3/4". VHS or Hi8 
work for cable access show. Contact: CNTV, 1440 N. 
Dayton St. Chicago, IL 60622. 



Notices are listed free of charge. AIVF 
members receive first priority; others 
are included as space permits. The 
Independent reserves the right to edit 
for length. Deadlines for Notices will 
be respected. These are the 8th of the 
month, two months prior to cover date 
(e.g., March 8 for the May issue). Send 
to: Independent Notices, FIVF, 625 
Broadway, New York, NY 10012. 



CENTRAL AMERICAN NEWS PROJECT seeks indivs 
to produce news & public affairs pieces for monthly 
access show on Central America. Contribute footage or 
contacts w/ people in CA w/ film or video equip. 
Contact: Carol Yourman, 362 Washington St, 
Cambridge, MA 02139; (617)492-8719. 

CITY TV, progressive municipal cable access channel in 
Santa Monica, seeks works on seniors, disabled, children, 
Spanish-language & video art; any length. Broadcast 
exchanged for equip, access at state-of-the-art facility. 
Contact: Laura Greenfield, Cable TV Manager, City 
TV, 1685 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 ; (213)458- 
8590. 

COMEDY CENTRAL seeks comedic, short student/ind. 
films _& videos under 3 min. to air on its flagship 
program. Short Attention Span Theater. No fees. Must 
have broadcast rights. Submit VHS or 3/4" tapes to: Josh 
Lebowitz, HBO Downtown Prods., 120 E. 23rd St, 6th 
fl, New York, NY 10010; (212) 512-8851. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TELEVISION CENTER 
(DCTV) accepts 3/4" Beta & VHS tapes for open 
screenings & special series w/ focus on women, Middle 
East, gay/lesbian. Native American, labor & Asian an. 
Contact: Tanya Steele, DCTV, 87 Lafayette Street, New 
York, NY 1 00 1 3; (2 1 2) 94 1 - 1 298. 

FILM/VIDEO SHORTS (7-17 min.) wanted on varied 
subjects for concept testing on nat'l TV. Submit 1/2" 
tapes for review to: Maureen Steinel, Ste 4768, 30 
Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112. 

FLICKTURES seeks 2-5 min. comedy prods, any genre, 
any style, to air on L.A. cable access; possible deferred 
pay. Send 3/4", 1/2", Beta or super 8 w/ SASE to: 
Flicktures. c/o Barker/Morgan Prods, 12039 Allin St, 
Culver City, CA 90230-5802. 

FORUM GALLERY, Jamestown Community College, 
seeksmedia that address environmental issues for"Artists 
Consider Environment" exhibition, Nov. -Dec. 1993. 
Deadline: April 15. Each slide, film or video must incl. 
name of artist, dimensions of work or running time, title 
& media. Send no more than 10 35mm slides, resume & 
related support materials w/ SASE to: Artists Consider 
the Environment. Forum Gallery. Jamestown Commuity 
College. P.O. Box 20, Jamestown, NY 1 4702-0020. For 
info, contact: Michelle Henry. (716) 665-9107. 



INDEPENDENT SHORT CINEMA, a monthly series of 
experimental, narrative & animation shorts, seeks work 
on 16 and 35mm (30 min. max). Send work or preview 
tapes on VHS w/relurn postage to: Pike Street Cinema, 
1108 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101. For info, contact: 
Galen Young or William Isenberger at (206) 682-7064, 
441-6181. 

IV-TV, wkly half-hour video shorts program in Seattle, 
seeks mini-docs, video art, found footage, news leaks. 
Contact: John Goodfellow or David Moore, IV-TV. 
2010 Minor E., Ste B. Seattle, WA 98 102. 

LA PLAZA, wkly doc series on WGBH, Boston, seeks 
original works by ind. film/videomakers w/ themes 
relevant to Latinos. Contact: La Plaza/Acquisitions. 
WGBH. 125 Western Ave, Boston. MA 02134. 

LESBIANS IN THE CREATIVE ARTS (LICA) invites 
submissions of original works for an Evening w/ LICA 
video cabaret. Artists must own all rights. Contact: 
Video, Ste 443, 496A Hudson St, New York, NY 1 00 1 4. 

LITTLE HORN PICTURES seeks ind. produced shorts 
for public access program. Doc, drama, animation. Any 
length up to 45 min. Student work welcome. Send VHS 
preview tape to: Little Horn Pictures, c/o Eric Rogers, 
600 McCall Rd, Greenville, SC 29607; (803) 967-0854. 
Incl. producer's name, address & phone number. 

MINORITY TELEVISION PROJECT, Bay Area 
multicultural public TV station, invites programming 
from ind. directors, producers & writers who have 
person of color in key creative position & present 
crosscultural perspectives. Children's, entertainment, 
animation, features, health, education & lifestyles sought. 
Submit 1/2" or 3/4" tapes (orig. must be on 3/4" or 1 " for 
broadcast.) to: John Weber, programming director, 1311 
Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109; (415) 394-5687. 

NATIVE VOICES seeks proposals for2half-hourcultural 
affairs progs by/for Montana Native Americans. Contact: 
Native Voices Public TV Workshop, Dept. of Film & 
TV, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717; 
(406) 994-6223. 

NOMAD VIDEO seeks works from videomakers of all 
ages, backgrounds & skill levels for monthly screenings. 
Screenings showcase grassroots artists at changing 
locations around Seattle area. Send VHS, S-VHS or Hi8 
& SASE to: Gavin the Nomad, 501 N. 36th St #365, 
Seattle, WA 98103; (206) 781-0653. 

PACIFIC ARTS seeks selected domestic & foreign ind. 
projects — narrative, animation, doc, experimental & 
performance — to air on wkly cable access show. Any 
theme, any length. Projects credited. Submit 3/4" tapes 
w/SASEto: Pacific Arts, P.O. Box533,Farmington, MI 
48332-0533. 

PERALTA COLLEGES TV (PCTV), multicultural 
educational station reaching 200,000 homes in Oakland- 
Berkeley area, seeks challenging social-issue docs & 
culturally diverse TV programs. Rare alternative outlet 
in Bay area. Excellent exposure. Submit 3/4" or VHS 
tape w/ short description & letter granting local cablecast 
rights to: PCTV programming, 900 Fallon St. Oakland, 
CA 94607; (510)464-3253. 

PMS (POST-MODERN SISTERS), nal'ly touring 
exhibition program, is looking for innovative & 
challenging short films by women for future programs. 
Contact: Lisa Austin, (4 1 5) 648-38 1 Oor Susanne Fairfax, 
(415)751-3507. 

REEL TIME, monthly film series at Performance Space 
122, seeks experimental, doc & narrative films. Submit 



48 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



super 8 & 16 mm to: Jim Browne, c/o Reel Time. P.S. 
122, 150 1st Ave, NY, NY 1 0009; (212) 477-5288. 

THE 90's CABLE CHANNEL seeks programs that bring 
alternative perspective to issues. Network of 8 full-time 
cable channels reaches 500,000 homes. Contact: Laura 
Brenton, 1007 Pearl St, #260, Boulder, CO 80302. 

THE 90's seeks short (under 15 min.) doc, music & 
experimental Hi8 works for nat'l broadcast. Excerpts, 
works-in-progress accepted. Pays $150/min. Contact: 
Fund for Innovative TV, 400 N. Michigan Ave. #1608, 
Chicago, IL 6061 1: (312) 321-9321. 

TOONTOWN RATS. Artists TV Access' new animation 
forum, seeks animated shorts. Send submissions to: 
Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia St. San 
Francisco, CA 94110; or contact Keith Knight, (415) 
752-4037/824-3890. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, cablecast on DUTV, Drexel 
University's channel 54, seeks narrative, animation, 
experimental, performance & doc works by young film- 
makers from Philly & elsewhere. Show reaches 767,000 
households in 3 states. Contact: Unquote TV, c/o DUTV. 
33rd&Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895- 
2927. 

WILLOW MIXED MEDIA seeks Amiga-based works 
for Amiga Artists on the Air. prog, distributed on cable 
access & video. Small fee. Submit material on 3.5" 
Amiga disks. VHS, 3/4" tape to: Toby Carey, Willow 
Mixed Media, Box 194, Lenox Ave, Glenford, NY 
12433; (914) 657-2914. 

WOMEN OF COLOR in Media Arts Database, seeks 
submissions of films & videos for database which incl. 
video filmographies, bibliographical info & biographical 
data. Contact: Dorothy Thigpen, Women of Color in 
Media Arts Database. Women Make Movies, 225 
Lafayette, Ste 207, NY, NY 10012; (212) 925-0606. 

Opportunities ■ Gigs 

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY seeks cinema/video his- 
torian for new MFA program in Cinema/Video Directing. 
Ass't professor, tenure track. Begins autumn 1993. 
Responsibilities incl: teaching courses in this area & 
prod., research & creative activity, leadership in 
development of this degree w/in Theatre Dept. Ph.D. w/ 
emphasis in cinema/video history preferred. Publication 
record, university teaching & prod exp desirable. Prefer 
candidate w/ related interests or experience in theater 
history & criticism. Deadline: Mar. 30. Send letter of 
appl., vita & credentials to: Dr. Kathleen Conlin. Dept of 
Theater, OSU, 1089 Drake Union, 1849 Cannon Drive, 
Columbus, OH 43210-1266. 

HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE seeks visiting ass't professor 
in video production/criticism. 1 -yr replacement position. 
Pref. given to candidates using doc or mixed forms to 
represent oppressed & minoirty groups or alts to dominant 
media. A critical/analytic approach to issues surrounding 
cultural prod, essential. Strengths in minority 3rd World 
rep or writing for/about media esp. valued. Send letter, 
vita & letters of recomm. to: Video Prod. Search Comm.. 
School of CCS, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 
01002. Review will begin on April 1 & continue until 
position filled. EEO. Women & minorities encouraged 
to apply. 

NEW YORK LESBIAN AND GAY EXPERIMENTAL 
FILM/VIDEO FESTIVAL looking for guest curators for 
the Sept. 1 993 fest. You will be involved w/ programming 
& publicity. For appl. & guidelines, send SASE to: 



NYLGEFF c/o festcomm.. 503 Broadway. Ste503, NY, 
NY 10012, (212) 925-5883. Deadline: Mar. 12. 

Publications 

CENSORSHIP & FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS: A 
PRIMER incl. collection of case studies & cases w/ 
listing of anti-censorship orgs & section on defending 
1st Amendment rights. Send S10 to: American 
Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression, 
560 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown, NY 10591. 

IN HER OWN IMAGE: Films & Videos Empowering 
Women for Future, singled out as best new media 
publication of 1 992 by American Film & Video Assoc, 
features reviews of more than 80 works exploring wide 
range of issues affecting women around world, indexed 
by geography, subject, title & appropriate audience. 
Includes essays on int'l women's issues & uses of media 
for social change in community & classroom. Avail, 
from Media Network, (212) 929-2663. 

MEDIATING HISTORY: THE MAP GUIDE TO 
INDEPENDENT VIDEO by & about African American, 
Asian American, Latino & Native American people. 
Edited by Barbara Abrash & Catherine Egan. Invaluable 
guide to multicultural historical videos incl. annotated 
list of 126 works: insightful essays by film scholars & 
programmers; overviews by media critics on media & 
teaching of history; alternative media directory; thematic 
& chronological indices. 200 pgs. $12.95 paper/$30 
cloth. Avail, from New York University Press, 70 
Washington Square S., New York. NY 10012: (212) 
998-2575; fax: (212) 995-3833. 

Resources ■ Funds 

ARTSLINK, a public-private initiative, provides support 
for individual U.S. artists or groups of up to five to 
undertake projects in Central Europe. Eastern Europe, 
Russia & the Baltics. Grants range from S500 to S2.500. 
Deadline: April 5. For more information, call (212)643- 
1985. 

CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING 

announces Health Care Programming solicitation. Ind 
& public TV producers may submit proposals for new 
limited series of 3-5 episodes to be presented nat'ly on 
public TV. Proposals should be presented on theme of 
health care practices, policies & projections appropriate. 
Deadline: March 15. Student, instructional & industrial 
ineligible. For appl & info, contact Joshua Darsa (202) 
879-9736 or John O'Connor (202) 879-9742. 

CREATIVE TIME sponsors projects by visual & 
performing artists as part of ongoing City Wide series. 
Goal to bring art to untapped sites in NYC. No deadline; 
proposals reviewed every 3-4 mo. Send 5 copies of 
project description: description of desired public site; 
technical assessment, incl. consideration of vandalism, 
security, projects material stability & utilities description; 
resumes of all participants; budget; up to 10 slides of 
past work of each participant w/ accompanying 
descriptions; 1/2" or 3/4" video of past work, no longer 
than 5 min., w/ explanatory notes; sketches & drawings 
to clarify proposal & SASE to: Creative Time, 131 W. 
24th St, New York, NY 10011-1942; (212) 206-6674; 
fax: (212) 255-8467. 

ELECTRONIC ARTS GRANTS FINISHING FUNDS 

provide NY State artists w/ grants of $500 for completion 
of works of electronic art. Deadline: Mar. 15. Max. 25 
grants awarded. Eligible projects incl audio & video 



Synch ronicity 
Sound 

Digital Audio Workstation with 
Video & Film Lock up 

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Digital Production Recording 

Multi-Format Mixing Facility 

Interformat Sound Transfers 

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Richter Productions 



MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 49 



Do You Teach? 

The Independent is an excellent classroom tool, whether you are teaching 

media theory or low-budget production. Introduce The Independent to your 

students and receive a six-month trial subscription FREE! (new members only) 

] Yes: Send me sample copies and my six-month free AIVF membership today! In 
exchange. I've enclosed a list of my student's names & addresses. 



Name 



Affiliation 



Address 
City 



State 



No. of copies 



Discipline . 



HUNTER COLLEGE CUNY 
DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND FILM 

Assistant or Associate Professor of Film, 

with specialization in directing, screen- 
writing, cinematography and editing to teach 
undergraduate courses and supervise student 
productions. 

M.F.A. or Ph.D. in Film (or equivalent 
professional experience) and prior teaching and 
directing experience. Ability to teach courses 
in film history and theory is desirable. 

One year renewable. Tenure track. 
Assistant Professor ($28,630 - $46,176) or 
Associate Professor ($37,308 - $55,179), 
depending on gualif ications and experience. 
Appointment Date: September 1, 1993. 
Applications: A resume and the names and 
telephone numbers of three references should be 
sent to the following address by March 25,1993. 
The Search Committee 
Department of Theatre and Film 
Hunter College CUNY 
695 Park Avenue 
New York, N.Y. 10021 
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY (M/F) , 
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER 




Electronic Field Production 

Component Betacam SP Editing 

Non-Linear Editing 

Computer Graphics 

212.529.B204 

SetoittQ. Attest* & 4ttdepe*tde*vU Alnte t$86 



presented on tape or in installations, Computer work 
must be time-based. For applieation. call Experimental 
Television Ctr Ltd. at (607) 687-1423. 

EQUALITY? FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION? Pursuit of 
Happiness? Do your films/videos address these ideas? 
To create montage-commentaries on what Equality, 
Free Speech & Happiness mean today. Declarations, an 
ITVS-funded series, seeks PBS bdcst rights tor variety 
ol'clips (15 sec. to 3 min.). Submit VHS, 3/4", or Beta w/ 
suggested clips marked, cued & briefly described ASAP 
to: Declarations Clip, Claypoint Prod., 53 Leonard St., 
NY, NY 10013. No originals. Encl. s.a.s.e. for return. 

FILM PRESERVATION PROGRAM, joint program of 
Nat'l Endowment for Arts & Nat'l Center for Film & 
Video Preservation at American Film Institute, awards 
grants to help orgs preserve & restore films of artistic or 
cultural value. Tax-exempt orgs can apply. Must have 
archival film collection, adequate staff & equipment to 
carry out project. Grants are matching, generally less 
than $25,000. For appl. & info, contact: AFI/NEA Film 
Preservation Program, National Center for Film & Video 
Preservation at AF1, John F. Kennedy Center, 
Washington, DC 20566 (202) 828-4070. 

FIRST FILM FOUNDATION, charitable foundation based 
in London, offers assistance, expertise & contacts in A/ 
V industry for new talents w/ 1 st film project for TV or 
cinema. All genres, incl. animation. Contact: First Film 
Foundation, Canalot Production Studios, 222 Kensal 
Road, London W105BN, England: (44) (81) 969 5 195; 
(44) (8 1)960 63 02. 

FOUNDATION CENTER provides info on philanthropic 
foundations & agencies that award grant money to arts. 
They also publish guidebooks. Foundation Center, 79 
Fifth Ave, New York, NY: (212) 620-4320. 

INTER-MEDIA ARTS CENTER offers local graphic 
artists w/ experience in 3-D animation and 2-D graphics 
free access to equipment for participation in collaborative 
arts projects. Org. has 3/4" A/B/C/D roll computer, 
chroma-key, computer graphics & 3-D animation 
systems. Call Michael Rothbard, IMAC executive dir. 
(516)549-9666. 

JEROME FOUNDATION funds indiv. film & video 
artists living & working in NYC metro area. Appls 
accepted any time, reviewed 3x/yr. Contact: Jerome 
Foundation, West 1050 First National Bank Building, 
332 Minnesota St, St. Paul, MN 55 101; (612) 224-9431. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE facilitates access to state-of-the-art 
commercial facilities at substantially reduced rates 
through its unique On-Line program. Qualifying artists 
& orgs receive discounts of 50-80% off commercial 
rates for services incl. rental of video prod, pkgs, monitors 
& projectors; editing & postprod, special effects; film- 
to-tapc & slide-to-tapc transfers; duplication, etc. 
Contact: Media Alliance, c/o Thirteen/WNET, 356 W. 
58th St, New York, NY 10019; (212) 560-2919. 

MEDIA CENTER at Visual Studies Workshop announces 
individual regranls of $500 to emerging media artists & 
ind producers from upstate New York. 6 awards avail to 
artists working in video, audio or time-based computer 
art, to advance their work. Appls must be residents of 
upstate NY county (all counties except 5 NYC boroughs 
& Nassau county). Students ineligible. Deadline: March 
15. Submit sample of complete project & work-in- 
progress on videotape (3/4", VHS, regular-8, Hi8 or 
Beta), on standard audio cassette or on Amiga disk. Cue 
samples to proper viewing/listening point on tape. 
Computer disks should be accompanied by viewing 



50 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



The Association 
of Independent 
Video and 
Filmmakers 



rtfhen you join the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, you're doing something for yourself — and for 
others. Membership entitles you to a wide range of benefits. 
Plus, it connects you with a national network of independent 
producers. Adding your voice helps us all. The stronger AIVF 
is, the more we can act as advocate for the interests of inde- 
pendents like yourself — inside the corridors of Washington, 
with the press, and with others who affect our livelihoods. 



T SeaefcU o£ TfteM&ena&ifi 



THE INDEPENDENT 

vlembership provides you with a year's 
subscription to The Independent. Pub- 
ished 10 times a year, the magazine is 
i vital source of information about the 
ndependent media field. Each issue 
lelps you get down to business with 
estival listings, funding deadlines, ex- 
libition venues, and more. Plus, you'll 
ind thought-provoking features, 
overage of the field's news, and 
egular columns on business, techni- 
al. and legal matters. 

THE FESTIVAL BUREAU 

\TVF maintains up-to-date information 
m over 650 national and international 
estivals, and can help you determine 
vhich are right for your film or video. 

Liaison Service 

\TVF works directly with many foreign 
estivals, in some cases collecting and 
shipping tapes or prints overseas, in 
)ther cases serving as the U.S. host to 
isiting festival directors who come to 
^review work. 

Tape Library 

vlembers can house copies of their 
vork in the ATVF tape library for 
licreening by visiting festival program- 
Tiers. Or make your own special 
screening arrangements with ATVF. 

INFORMATION SERVICES 

Distribution 

n person or over the phone, ATVF can 
provide information about distributors 
ind the kinds of films, tapes, and 
narkets in which they specialize. 



ATVF's Member Library 
Our library houses information on dis- 
tributors, funders. and exhibitors, as 
well as sample contracts, funding ap- 
plications, budgets, and other matters. 

SEMINARS 

Our seminars explore current busi- 
ness, aesthetic, legal, and technical 
topics, giving independent producers a 
valuable forum to discuss relevant 
issues. 



BOOKS AND TAPES 

ATVF has the largest mail order catalog 
of media books and audiotaped se- 
minars in the U.S. Our list covers all 
aspects of film and video production. 
And we're constantly updating our 
titles, so independents everywhere 
have access to the latest media infor- 
mation. We also publish a growing list 
of our own titles, covering festivals, 
distribution, and foreign and domestic 
production resource guides. 

continued 




AIVF 

625 Broadway 
9th floor 
New York, NY 
10012 



ADVOCACY 

Whether it's freedom of expression. 
public funding levels, public TV. 
( oiiu .!( lu.il agreements, cable 
legislation, or other issues that affect 
independent producers. AIVF is 
there working for you. 

INSURANCE 

Production Insurance 
A production insurance plan, tailor 
made for AIVF members and cover- 
ing public liability, faulty film and 
tape, equipment, sets, scenery, 
props, and extra expense, is avail- 
able, as well as an errors and omis- 
sions policy with unbeatable rates. 

Equipment Insurance 
Equipment coverage for all of your 
equipment worldwide whether owned 
or leased. 

Group Health, Disability, and Life 
Insurance Plans with TEIGIT 

AJVF currently offers two health 
insurance policies, so you're able to 
find the one that best suits your 
needs. 



Dental Plan 

Reduced rates for dental coverage are 
available to NYC and Boston-area 
members. 

DEALS AND DISCOUNTS 

Service Discounts 

In all stages of production and in most 
formats, AIVF members can take ad- 
vantage of discounts on equipment 
rentals, processing, editing services, 
and other production necessities. 

Nationwide Car Rentals 

AJVF membership provides discounts 
on car rentals from major national 
rental agencies. 

Mastercard Plan 

Credit cards through the Maryland 
Bank are available to members with a 
minimum annual income of $18,000. 
Fees are waived the first year. 

Facets Multimedia Video Rentals 

AIVF members receive discounts on 
membership and mail-order video 
rentals and sales from this Chicago- 
based video rental organization. 



Join AIVF today and get a one-year subscription to The Independent. 



Rates 

(Canada. Mexico. US. PR) 

□ $25/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 
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J Add S18 for 1st class mailing 



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92 



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(fa* A W? 7<HU<t mmmt 

Five thousand members strong, 
the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers has been 
working for independent produc- 
ers — providing information, fight- 
ing for artists' rights, securing 
funding, negotiating discounts, 
and offering group insurance 
plans. Join our growing roster. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual membership 

1 issues of The Independent 
Access to all plans and discounts 
Festival / Dist ribu t ion / Library service; 
Information services 
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■ Student membership 

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1 issues of The Independent 

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PLUS: Special notice of upcoming 

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Nonprofit Organizational membershi 

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All the benefits of individual 

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PLUS: Special mention in The 

Independent 

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■l 



instructions. Film transferred to video ineligible, but 
innovative combination of film & video considered. 
Incl. resume, brief description of work samples & SASE. 
Send appls & requests for info to: Upstate Media Regrant 
93, Media Center, VSW, 31 Prince St, Rochester, NY 
14607; or call Pia Cseri-Briones (716) 442-8676. 

MID ATLANTIC ARTS FOUNDATION supports arts 
administrators through its Visual Arts Travel Fund. 
Applicants must be administrator orcurator of nonprofit 
visual or media arts org. in Mid-Atlantic state. Travel 
grants awarded for 50% of documented expenses incurred 
to attend an event (max. S200). Deadline: 6 wks before 
event or dates of travel. For guidelines contact: Michelle 
Lamuniere, VAP Associate, Mid Atlantic Arts 
Foundation, 1 1 East Chase St, Ste 2A, Baltimore, MD 
21202; (301) 539-6656. 

NAATA MEDIA GRANTS provide 2 funding oppor- 
tunities for Asian American film & video prods for 
public TV. Open Solicitation avail to projects in all 
phases of prod. & wide range of genres incl doc, 
animation, drama, experimental & cross-genres. Grants 
range btwn SI 0.000 & $25,000, totalling SI 50,000. 
Deadline: March 15, 5 pm PST. Completion Fund 
supports projects in very final stages of prod. Preference 
given to projects needing about $10,000 that can clearly 
demonstrate completion & broadcast readiness as result 
of grant. Funds avail on first come, first serve basis btwn 
March 1 & Sept. 1 . Due to limited funds, it is advisable 
to call before submitting proposal. For guidelines & 
appl, contact: NAATA Media Grants, 346 Ninth St, 2nd 
fir, San Francisco, CA 94103. For info, call Janice 
Sakamoto, (415)863-0814. 

NATPE Educational Foundation PS A contest for college 
students to produce best video PSA on subject 
"Combatting Racism & Religious Intolerance." Entries 
must be :10, :20, :30 or :60 in length. Awards: $2,500 
cash & matching donation to winner's school, 1 st prize. 
Winning PSA shown at Nat'l Assn of TV Program 
Executives nat'l conf. Send PSAs to: Phil Corvo, NATPE 
Educational Foundation, 2425 W. Olympic Blvd. Ste 
550E, Santa Monica, CA 90404. 

NEW YORK COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES Media 
Projects — pioneering effort to bring together films on 
video, filmmakers & scholars in public forums throughout 
NYC — seeks proposals for programs. Events feature 
presentations at screening by filmmaker or scholar, 
framed by talk & discussion. $350 honorarium to 
filmmaker, $250 to scholar w/ up to $1 50 addt'l in travel 
expenses. For appl. contact: NYCH, 198 Broadway, 
10th fir, New York, NY 10038; (212) 233-1 131. 

NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS (NYSCA) 
supports NYS resident filmmakers for ind. projects in 
super 8, 16mm or 35mm. Grants up to $25,000 for any 
phase of production. Appls must be initiated by project's 
director & sponsored by NYS nonprofit org. (which 
receives up to 10% of funds). Students, filmmakers 
outside NYS & those who have not yet completed 
previously funded projects ineligible. All genres 
considered except educational films, those commissioned 
by orgs, student films undertaken for degree & films 
whose primary purpose is documentation of events. 
Deadline: March 1 for filing sponsor's appl. Contact: 
Individual Artists Program (212) 387-7061. 

NO BUDGET FEATURE FILM SCRIPT COMPETITION. 

20 film professionals have joined together to provide 
writer/director w/ labor & equip to produce 1st feature. 
Preproduction planning, crew & low-budget 1 6mm pkg 
provided to winner. Deadline: May 15. Send two copies 



of suitable low-budget scripts w/ SASE to: Adolph 
Gasser. Rental Services, 750 Bryant St. San Francisco, 
CA 94107. For guidelines & appl info, send SASE to 
above address. 

O.T.O.L. VIDEO invites producers to edit projects on 
video at its Southern CA facility. Submit synopsis of 
project, cover letter describing financing plan & brief 
description of principal people involved. Sample reel 
can be submitted. For more info, contact: O.T.O.L. 
Video, 1800 Stanford St, Santa Monica, CA 90404; 
(310)828-5662. 

PHILADELPHIA FILM & VIDEO ASSOCIATION 
(PIFVA) offers subsidy program to help complete ind. 
noncommercial films/videos/audio works by PIFVA 
members based in greater Philadelphia area. Grants paid 
directly to facilities for lab/facility services at discounted 
rates as negotiated by artist. Avg. grant: $500; max. 
$1,000. Deadlines: April 2; June 15. For appl., contact: 
(215) 895-6594. 

SCRIPPS HOWARD FOUNDATION Scholarships 
awarded to fulltime undergrad & grad students preparing 
for careers in communications industry. Scholarships 
range from $500 for freshmen & sophomores to $3,000 
for seniors & grad students. For info, call (513) 977- 
3035. 

US-MEXICO FUND FOR CULTURE announces 1993 
program open to Mexican & US artists, intellectuals, 
performers, writers, museum curators & librarians 
residing in either country. Grants btwn $2,000& $25,000 
avail for individual or collaborative projects that ideally 
can be completed w/in 12 mo. period beginning July 
1993. Special invitation to those presenting projects 
relating to art & culture of border region. Deadline: 
March 31. For info, contact: US Mexico Fund for 
Culture, Benjamin Franklin Library. Londres 16-PB, 
Col. Juarez. 06600 Mexico DF; tel: 21 1-0042 ext. 3473 
or 3474; fax: 208-8943. 

WOMEN IN FILM FOUNDATION FILM FINISHING 
FUND awards grants from S25-50K for completion & 
delivery of work consistent w/WIF's goals: at least 50% 
of prod personnel must be women, subject matter must 
relate to women & be of general humanitarian concern 
& project must be broadcast quality for exclusive 1-yr. 
or 4-broadcast exhibition rights on Lifetime Cable. For 
guidelines: Lifetime TV Completion Grant, WIFE, 6464 
Sunset Blvd. Ste 900, Los Angeles, CA 90028. 



FTVF THANKS 

The Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FTVF), the foundation affiliate of the 
Association of Independent Video and Film- 
makers (AI VF), supports a variety of programs 
and services for the independent producer com- 
manity,mc\n6mgpnb\ica.nonof The Independ- 
ent, maintenance of the Festival Bureau, semi- 
nars, and workshops, and an information 
clearinghouse. None of this work would be 
possible without the generous support of the 
following individuais and businesses: 

Benefactors ($1,000+): 

Mr. Irwin W» Young 
Sponsors ($250+): 

Ms. Jeanine Basinger, Mr. Daniel 
Edelmart, Mr. Robert Richter, Mr. George 
Stoney, AVID Technology, Inc. 



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MARCH 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 51 



WANTED: STORIES OF 
PRODUCERS V. PBS ON 
VIDEO RIGHTS CONTRACTS 

Last August. PBS President Bruce Christensen 
sent a memo to major public television producers 
notifying them of an "important change" in PBS 
policy. "Starting with this fiscal year," Christensen 
wrote, "PBS will reserve the right to condition its 
program funding commitments on the availability 
to PBS of institutional audio visual and/or home 
video rights." 

This fall, the Coalition for Public Television 
Program Access and Diversity was formed in 
response to the new PBS policy. The coalition 
includes the Association for Independent Video 
and Filmmakers (AIVF) as well as organizations 
representing media arts centers, distributors and 
more than 1.000 businesses. 

The core of public broadcasting supporters all 
have reasons to oppose the new policy. 

• Producers may be forced to assign distribu- 
tion rights to PBS whether or not PBS is the most 
appropriate or effective distributor for their pro- 
grams. Programs that require special niche pro- 
motion may not reach their potential audience. 
Some producers may be forced not to air programs 
on PBS because they do not want to grant PBS 
video distribution rights. 

• Video distributors will be deprived of access 
to new acquisitions, threatening the survival of 
their businesses while granting PBS a virtual 
monopoly. 

• Educators and librarians will confront an 
environment with fewer distributors resulting in 
the reduced availability of educational videos. 
Once these products pass through a single 
"gatekeeper" they are likely to suffer from an 
increase in price as well. 

• Viewers of public television will be affected 
as PBS's financial interest in unit video sales will 
hasten its retreat from challenging, innovative, 
diverse programming in favor of entertainment 
that more resembles programs available on com- 
mercial networks. 

What can you do? The coalition is interested in 
hearing the details of any problems you have 
faced in contract negotiations with PBS as a result 
of the new policy. If you have had a problem 
concerning distribution rights, production grants, 
or feed times please contact Bill Wasserman at 
(202) 775-5922. Also, write or call the Coalition 
at 2000 M St, NW, Ste 400, Washington, DC 
20036. to receive copies of their action kit and 
regular updates on coalition efforts. 



THE ANNUAL AIVF MEMBERSHIP MEETING 

Friday. March 19 

6:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m. 

Anthology Film Archives 

32-34 Second Ave (corner of 2nd Ave and 2nd St) 

You won't want to miss this year's events: 

Meet fellow AIVF members and AIVF staff. 

Share your current works (VHS monitors will be provided; 10 min. limit per person). 

Last chance for nominations of AIVF Board of Directors. 

Refreshments will be served. 
Watch your mailbox for details or call (212) 473-3400. 

Let Your Concerns Be Heard! 

Nominate a member to the AIVF Board of Directors. AIVF board members serve a two 
year term and are expected to attend 8 board meetings (4/year), which are held in New 
York. Board members are also expected to serve on at least one of the board committees. 
Please note the following nomination procedures: 

1) You must be a current member of AIVF. 

2) The person you are nominating must also be a current member. (Yes, you may nominate yourself.) 

3) Write down the nominee's name, address, and phone number. 

4) Your nomination must be seconded by another member in good standing. 

(Please include the name and phone number of the member who has seconded this nomination.) 

5) Nominations not seconded by mail can be seconded at the membership meeting. 

6) Mail your nomination to our office: AIVF, 625 Broadway, NY, NY 10012. Attn: Stephanie 
Richardson or you may fax them to (212) 677-8732. 

Hurry! Nominations must be received and seconded by Friday, March 19th. 

No phone nominations will be accepted! Sorry, student members are not eligible to serve on 

the board. 



NAMAC CONFERENCE T 

FOCUSES ON INDEPENDENT 
PRODUCTION 

The 1 993 National Association of Media Arts Cen- 
ters' Conference, "Rewiring Our Networks," co- 
sponsored by AIVF, will be held from June 3-6 at 
the Chicago Cultural Center. Preregistration: $ 1 1 
for NAMAC institutional members; $85 for AIVF 
members & NAMAC individual members; $160 
for institutional nonmembers & $95 for individual 
nonmembers. Preregistration deadline: May 3. Reg- 
istration: $140 for NAMAC institutional mem- 
bers; $115 for AIVF members and NAMAC indi- 
vidual members; $ 1 95 for institutional nonmembers; 
$125 for individual nonmembers. Single-day reg- 
istration for NAMAC & AIVF members: $50; for 
nonmembers: $60. To register, send checks to 
NAMAC, 1212 Broadway, Ste 816, Oakland, CA 
946 1 2. For further information, call Mimi Zarsky at 
NAMAC, (510)451-2717. 



Moving? 

Make Sure Your 
Independent Follows. 

Please call and let us know! 
The Independent is sent out third- 
class bulk rate and will not be 
forwarded to your new address. 
Once we are notified of a 
change of address, it may still 
take up to four weeks to take 
effect. Back issues are not always 
available if you don't notify us of 
a change of address. So call in 
your new address. It's the easiest, 
fastest way to insure you'll receive 
your magazine and other 
important mailings. (212) 473-3400 



"1 



"J 



52 THE INDEPENDENT 



MARCH 1993 



DID YOU 
MISS IT? 




Novv's your chance to catch up on some important reading. Purchase back 
issues of The Independent, featuring informative articles on subjects ranging 
from foreign sales and PBS to on-location shoots and the cable industry. Some 
issues that merit a first (or second) look include: 

June 91 - Artist' Inroads into the Cable Industry (HBO, the 

Discovery Channel, MTV, Bravo, and The learning Channel) 

July 92 - On Location: Working with Film Commissions 

November 92 - The Other Queer Cinema: What Women Want, 
plus PBS' s Jennifer Lawson Talks Shop 

December 92 - Foreign Sales: A Special Report 

Back issues are $3.50 each (add $1 .50 shipping & handling for first issue, $1 for every 
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IKDEPEIOENr 



APRIL 1993 




VOLUME 16, NUMBER 3 


Publisher: 


Ruby Lerner 


Editor: 


Patricia Thomson 


Managing Editor: 


Michele Shapiro 


Editorial Assistant: 


Ellen Levy 


Contributing Editors: 


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2 THE INDEPENDENT 



The Independent is published 1 limes yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 
625 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY 10012, (212) 
473-3400, a nonprofit, lax-exempt educational 
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and by the Association of Independent Video and 
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independent producers and individuals involved in 
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membership in AIVF. Together FIVF and AIVF provide a 
broad range of educational and professional services for 
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Publication of any advertisement by The Indepen- 
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The Independent welcomes unsolicited manu- 
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responsibility is assumed for loss or damage. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
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previous appearance in The Independent. ISSN 
0731-5198. The Independent is indexed in the 
Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 1993 

AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Ruby Lerner, executive 
director; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
director; Stephanie Richardson, program/membership di- 
rector; Susan Kennedy, development director; Mei-Ling 
Poon, bookkeeper; John McNair, administrative assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF LEGAL COUNSEL: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
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* FIVF Board of Directors only 

APRIL 1993 



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CONTENTS 










COVER: The Kurds in Northern Iraq have 
hijacked the Iraqi broadcasting system and 
set op independent TV networks. 
Combining modern technology and meager 
resources, Kurdish TV symbolizes social 
change and links audiences to their past. 
Here, a Kurdish cameraman videotapes the 
exhumation of a grave site in Sulaiman'rya. 
In this issue, a vivid photo essay by Laura 
Davidson and photographer Susan 
Metselas captures the exploits of guerrilla 
TV production. Also in this issue, Jeffrey 
Chester and Kathryn Montgomery expjore 
the role of independents in the future of 
cutting-edge technologies. Photo: courtesy 
Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos, ©1992. 



24 FEATURES 

Rising from the Ruins: Local TV Helps Define a New 
Kurdish Identity 

by Laura Davidson, with photographs by Susan Meiselas 

Technology in Transition: From Video Dialtone to DBS — Where 
Do Independents Fit In? 

by Jeffrey Chester and Kathryn Montgomery 

It's the Infrastructure... Stupid! 

5 MEDIA CLIPS 

Washington Roundup: Congress, the Arts, and the Endowments 

by Catherine Saalfield 

Congress, the FCC, and Public Television 

by John Gallagher 

Coalition Blasts Self-Censorship at PBS 

by Barbara Osborn 

What's in NAME'S Name? 

by Wendy Greene 

Discovery Channel Spotlights Independents 

by Ingalisa Schrobsdorff 

John Dorr: 1944-1993 

by Barbara Osborne 

14 TALKING HEADS 

Peter Friedman, documentarian: Silveilake Liie: The View 
from Here 

by Lorri Shundich 

Srinivas Krishna, writer /director: Masala 

by Noah Cowan 

Nora Jacobson, documentarian: Delivered Vacant 

by Daryl Chin 

Alberto Barbera, festival director, Festival Intemazionale 
Cinema Giovani 

by Howard Feinstein 

20 MONEY MATTERS 

In Dire Straits: Downsized by Half, the New York State Council 
on the Arts Restructures 

by Lucinda Furlong 

35 FIELD REPORTS 

London Kills Me: The London Film Festival 

by Ellin Stein 

From Soup to Nuts (and Bolts): The International Documentary 
Congress 

by Karen Kramer 

41 FESTIVALS 

by Kathryn Bowser 

42 CLASSIFIEDS 
46 NOTICES 

52 MEMORANDA 

Minutes from the AIVF/FIVF Board of Director's Meeting 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 3 



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MEDIA C 



WASHINGTON ROUNDUP 

Who's In, Who's Out, and What Does It Mean? 



CONGRESS, THE ARTS, AND 
THE ENDOWMENTS 

A new president, 1 10 new members of Congress, 
and real bombs bursting in air again. Will this year 
actually prove to be any different from the 1 2 that 
preceded it? Given the cautiously optimistic, at 
turns confusing, atmosphere, what can the media 
arts community expect from the new administra- 
tion? Will the two new heads of key arts endow- 



The new crew in 

Washington, D.C., will 

include a change of guard 

at the NEA, housed at the 

Old Post Office Building. 

Photo: Joon LaRocca, courtesy 
Notional Endowment for the Arts 




ments lead the nation towards reinvigorated cul- 
tural production complete with unabridged fed- 
eral support? 

President Clinton is currently considering can- 
didates to chair the National Endowment for the 
Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the 
Humanities (NEH), both of which face reauthor- 
ization in the same bill on September 30, 1993. 
Although Clinton campaigned on an anti-censor- 
ship platform which supported a strong NEA, the 
many changing faces of Congress carry with them 
an element of the unknown. Will it be possible to 
reauthorize the NEA with no content restrictions 
on grants? According to Jill Bond, who runs the 



Artsave Art Censorship Project at People for the 
American Way, "We have a great new opportu- 
nity with the Congress now. Our challenge is to 
educate these people about the role of federal 
support for the arts and humanities in this country. 
Having new leadership will hopefully allow us to 
operate from a position of strength in our advo- 
cacy on the Hill." 

Returning members of Congress who supported 
freedom of expression throughout their reelection 
campaigns include Sidney Yates (D-IL) and Bar- 
bara Boxer (D-CA). Also, Democratic Represen- 
tative Pat Williams won a close race in Montana, 
where his position on the arts and support for the 
NEA was used against him by Republican Repre- 
sentative Ron Marlenee. However, Les AuCoin, 
another NEA supporter who may appear else- 
where in the new administration, lost his Senate 
race in Oregon to Bob Packwood. And New York 
Representative Thomas Downey, a former chair 
of the Congressional Arts Caucus, lost his seat to 
a Republican challenger. Finally, Representative 
Bill Green, a longtime friend of the arts, lost his 
seat to New York City Council member Carolyn 
Maloney. 

The Congressional Arts Caucus, previously 
chaired by an incredible champion of the arts, 
Representative Ted Weiss, who died in Septem- 
ber, will now be chaired by New York Congress- 
woman Louise Slaughter, another strong advo- 
cate and excellent speaker. Also, the Federal Arts 
Council, active during the Carter administration 
but unused in the last 1 2 years, may be resurrected 
to provide some national leadership on arts and 
culture. This council coordinates federal arts policy 
and works to integrate arts programs into agencies 
like HUD, Transportation, Agriculture, and En- 
ergy. 

Currently undergoing an innovative search pro- 
cess whereby various national organizations were 
called upon to submit recommendations, the 
Clinton administration will soon appoint a new 
NEA chair. 

The new chair must be able to elevate discus- 
sion and get the organization on track, protect the 
endowment from attack, work with the media, 
communicate with Congress, and most of all, be 
able to justify the role of government funding for 
the arts. 

Deborah Sale, from Arkansas, is leading the 
search and, it is rumored, is also pursuing the 
position. She worked on the Clinton campaign, 
headed the Arts and Humanities Task Force for 
the transition team, and currently serves on staff to 



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Lieutenant Governor Stan Loundine. Married to 
New York lawyer Ted Striggles, Sale worked 
under Joan MondaJe in the seventies in Carter's 
Federal Arts Council. 

Other candidates include Bob Lynch, the ex- 
ecutive director of the National Assembly of Lo- 
cal Arts Agencies in Washington. D.C.: Kitty 
Carlisle Hart, chairperson of the New York State 
Council on the Arts; Broadway producer Lloyd 
Richards, the formerchair of the Theater Commu- 
nications Group Board, who also served for many 
years on the National Council for the Arts: Philip 
Yenawine. the former director of the Education 
Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New 
York; and Cynthia Mayeda, head of the Dayton 
Hudson Foundation in Minnesota. 

Although the NEA'sAna Steele is fulfilling the 
duties of acting chair until a new chair is ap- 
pointed, Madeleine Kunin, Deputy Secretary of 
Education, was officially named Acting Chair in 
March. The appointment was the result of an 
arcane act, the Vacancy Act, which says the acting 
chair must be confirmed by the Senate. Kunin is 
Senate-confirmed while Steele is not. Sources 
inside the NEA say a new chairperson will be 
appointed sooner rather than later. 

Outgoing chair of the NEH is Lynne Cheney, 
wife of former Secretary of State Dick Cheney, 
who served as chair for six years. The strongest 
candidate for her replacement is Sheldon Hack- 
ney, president of the University of Pennsylvania. 
A source at People for the American Way says 
Hackney "pretty much has the nomination locked 
up at this point." 

The new endowment chairs face numerous 
controversial decisions resulting from the censo- 
rious activity carried on during the Reagan/Bush 
years. Congress may choose to extend the lan- 
guage of the current authorization beyond its 
expiration date in September in order to conduct 
a thoughtful examination of the present guide- 
lines and their functions. 

Furthermore, the NEA, struggling under the 
management of Bush appointee acting chair Anne- 
Imelda Radice, is currently involved in two legal 
challenges that must be addressed immediately. 
The new chair must deal with the appeal of the 
veto by Radice of three subgrants to lesbian and 
gay film festivals through the National Associa- 
tion of Media Arts Centers [see "Radice's Last 
Stand," January/February '93]. Second, in the 
case of Finley v. NEA, Judge Tashima held the 
decency clause in the NEA reauthorization to be 
unconstitutional. The Clinton administration may 
choose not to appeal. 

And keep in mind, whatever comes about from 
inside the administration, the media arts commu- 
nity will remain embroiled in an ongoing battle. 
As People for the American Way's Jill Bond 
reminds us, "Our opponents on the Right, who 
have a vested interest in engaging in this culture 
war, are not necessarily going to go away because 
we have a new administration. We need to stay 
vigilant in defending First Amendment freedoms 



and protecting the integrity of the arts and hu- 
manities." 

CATHERINE SAALFIELD 

Catherine Saalfield is a film- and videomaker. 
curator, and consultant. 

CONGRESS, THE FCC, AND 
PUBLIC TV 

President Clinton, in a C-SPAN interview held 
just after the Democratic National Convention 
last July, said he supports public television, but 
"doesn't know that we have to spend more money 
on it now." 

Also last year, public television funding re- 
ceived more scrutiny in Congress than in recent 
years. A group of Republicans, led by Minority 
Leader Robert Dole (R-KS), delayed for three 
months the vote on S. 1504, which authorized 
public television funding for FY 1994- 1996. The 
$1.1 -billion bill finally was passed in an over- 
whelming 87-11 vote, but with provisions de- 
signed to promote balance and objectivity. The 
provisions were formally adopted at a CPB board 
meeting in January. Although all this may not be 
music to independent producers' ears, it is un- 
likely the government will lessen its support for 
public television now that Clinton is at the helm. 

Clinton's choice for a new head of the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC) to replace 
Al Sykes, in office until June, will be an important 
one. Antoinette Cook, senior counsel for the Sen- 
ate Communications Subcommittee, is the lead- 
ing candidate for the position. Last year, Cook, 
from Chicago, formulated policy against Dole for 
Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and, according to 
insiders, she will bring the same mindset to the 
industry's regulatory agency. David Brugger, 
president of America's Public Television Stations 
(APTS), the lobbying arm for public television, 
says Cook not only understands the public service 
policies behind public broadcasting, but can ef- 
fectively negotiate with those who have the power 
to implement those policies. "She has always 
been very good at looking at everything everyone's 
asked for, plus all of the rationale behind it, and 
been able to reach an intelligent compromise 
among all the parties," he says. 

Cook's understanding of public broadcasting's 
place in the broadcasting industry is vital to inde- 
pendent producers, especially when considering 
video dialtone technology, an issue she could face 
almost immediately. CPB and APTS filed a peti- 
tion last year asking the FCC to reconsider its 
initial refusal to allow public broadcasting special 
access to the technology, which enables telephone 
companies to carry video programming. 

Because new technology is traditionally cost 
prohibitive for public stations, it is imperative that 
space on the video dialtone spectrum be allocated 
to give public broadcasting a chance to compete in 
the marketplace of the future. "The more healthy 
public television," says Brugger, "the healthier 




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# 




Is PBS refusing to air films on the basis of 
their political content? Protestors who 
thought so pointed to such documentaries 
as Debra Chasnoff s Deadly Deception 
and Building Bombs, coproduced by 
Mark Mori and Susan Robinson. 

Photo: Robin Doyno 



independent producers are going to be, because 
it's one of the few places they have a chance to 
really get their work out there in quantity." 

Currently, only two of the FCC's five commis- 
sioners side w ith CPB on the video dialtone issue. 
After Clinton's appointees are named sometime 
this spring, the number of those in favor is ex- 
pected to increase to three, forming a majority. 

The telecommunications subcommittee in the 
House of Representatives welcomed two new 
Democrats, Marjorie Margoles-Mezvinsky (PA) 
and Lynn Schenk (CA), and three Republicans: J. 
Dennis Hastert (IL). Paul Gillmore (OH), and 
Alex McMillan (NC). In the Senate, Democrats 
Charles Robb (VA) and John D. Rockefeller IV 
(WV) will replace Vice President Al Gore and 
Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen on the tele- 
communications subcommittee. Rockefeller, who 
is married to Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president 
of WETA-TV Washington. D.C.. is no doubt 
familiar with the concerns of public broadcasters, 
as WETA is one of the major progTam producers 
for public television. 

Several new members will join the relevant 
appropriations committees for public broadcast- 
ing in the House and Senate, the two groups that 
have their hands closest to the purse strings, but 
officials at CPB said at press time that they were 
unable to gauge the support level for public broad- 
casting funds because CPB had not yet submitted 
to Congress its budget proposal for 1996. 

Currently the CPB board is made up of six 
Republicans, two Independents, and one Demo- 
crat, each with a five-year term; six of the nine 
won't end their terms until at least 1996. One seat 
is currently open, which Clinton can fill at any 
time. Another seat will be open this fall and two 
more in 1994. 

According to Donald Marbury, who heads 
CPB's Television Program Fund, the department 
financially responsible for the Independent Tele- 



vision Service (ITVS). the political makeup of the 
board has had little effect on ITVS funding. "We've 
had boards that w ere dominant Democrat and now 
dominant Republican, and I've found that every 
one of those board members has placed a premium 
on creativity." 

However, Jeffrey Chester, codirector for the 
Center for Media Education, disagrees. "During 
the Reagan/Bush years, the CPB board defined a 
narrow agenda for public telecommunications, 
[by which] independents have found themselves 
further marginalized. What we're expecting out 
of the Clinton Administration is the appointment 
of CPB board members who see the need to 
reenvision public television. ..to ensure that it pro- 
vides a diverse array of programming, from qual- 
ity children's fare to provocative documentaries." 

The Television Program Fund has a mailing list 
of 7.000 independent producers, and Marbury is 
determined not to allow any funding shortfalls 
within his department to affect grant funding. 
With $1.4-million less in interest income to work 
with this year than in the past, he let discretionary 
dollars take the hit; ITVS in 1993 will continue to 
receive its annual $6-million from CPB, the mini- 
mum amount recommended by Congress since 
ITVS's creation in 1988. 

JOHN GALLAGHER 

John Gallagher covers public television for 
Broadcasting magazine. 

COALITION BLASTS SELF- 
CENSORSHIP AT PBS 

A newly formed coalition is accusing PBS of 
refusing to air celebrated documentaries because 
they're too political. In 1992, Deadly Deception: 
General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our 
Environment won an Oscar for Best Documentary 
Short. Two years earlier another documentary. 



Building Bombs, was nominated for Best Docu- 
mentary Feature. Both films were rejected by 
PBS. 

The coincidence seemed suspicious to Mark 
Mori, who coproduced Building Bombs with Su- 
san Robinson, and he began to do a little digging. 
Mori discovered that other acclaimed "political" 
films had been rejected, including Vivienne 
Verdon-Roe's Wowen/or America, For theWorld, 
1986 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short; 
Robert Richter's Gods of Metal, 1982 Academy 
Award nomination; Dark Circle, produced by 
Chris Beaver, Judy Irving, and Ruth Landy , Acad- 
emy Certificate of Special Merit in 1982 and a 
National Emmy when P.O.V. finally aired the 
film. Could it be these films that address hot 
political topics and are of recognized merit didn't 
meet PBS ' normal quality-control standards? Mori 
didn't think so and organized an ad hoc group, the 
Coalition vs. PBS Censorship, to focus public 
attention on the issue. So far, Mori has been able 
to attract endorsments from Oliver Stone, Law- 
rence Kasdan, Robert Young, and Michael Moore, 
finance a full-page ad in Daily Variety, and mount 
a demonstration outside the Loew's Santa Monica 
Hotel timed to coincide with PBS's presentation 
before the National TV Critic's Association in 
January. 

According to a PBS spokesperson, Debra 
Chasnoff s Deadly Deception was rejected be- 
cause it was funded by INFACT, an activist orga- 
nization that advocates corporate accountability, 
thereby violating PBS guidelines, which state that 
"in a program of a public affairs or controversial 
nature, if there is a very clear and direct connec- 
tion between the interests, products, or services of 
the potential underwriter and the subject of the 
program which would likely lead the public to 
conclude that the program has been influenced by 
the funder, the proposed program funding will be 
unacceptable." As for Building Bombs, Jennifer 
Lawson, PBS's executive vice president for na- 
tional programming, says that the program was 
not clearly organized and "did not give adequate 
voice to other sides and other aspects of the issues 
that it was raising." 

The coalition, on the other hand, argues that the 
two rejections are part of a pattern of PBS censor- 
ship. Mori rebuts Lawson 's charge of balance in 
his own film by pointing out that five pronuclear 
representatives were included in the program and 



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that the film was reviewed for accuracy by top 
experts on nuclear production and waste. In fact. 
Building Bombs may still make it into the PBS 
schedule as a part of P.O. V., PBS' repository for 
point-of-view programming, which has recently 
expressed interest in the film. 

However, the case surrounding Deadly De- 
ception is more complex. INFACT contracted 
Chasnoff to make Deadly Deception and the orga- 
nization holds the copyright. Nevertheless, 
Chasnoff argues that the film is not self-inter- 
ested. "It's not about how great INFACT is," she 
says, adding that several PBS affiliates have aired 
the film. (Affiliate stations are not constrained by 
PBS guidelines.) 

Mori accuses PBS of using its guidelines "like 
a sledgehammer" against grassroots groups like 
INFACT. Contrary to their policy, he says, PBS 
regularly broadcasts programs such as Wall Street 
Week, underwritten by corporations that have a 
stake in the subject matter. According to Karen 
Doyne, PBS Director of National Press Relations, 
Wall Street Week, which is underwritten by Pru- 
dential and Traveller's Insurance, does not violate 
PBS guidelines because it is a program that "deals 
broadly with issues facing the financial commu- 
nity." Doyne points out that the series was origi- 
nally funded solely by PBS, and although she 
admits that at times the series may touch upon a 
story that deals with interests held by its under- 
writers, it is not a significant proportion of the 
total show. "The question," she emphasizes, "is 
whether an organization has a direct self-interest. 
Every production is a judgment call," she says. 
"The guidelines serve as a framework. The real 
issue is 'Are PBS' guidelines appropriate and are 
they applied consistently?'" 

While Doyne argues that PBS guidelines serve 
the film community well by assuring that pro- 
grams aired on PBS "have a high standard of 
integrity," Chasnoff argues that the guidelines are 
presented "as if they are neutral." But she points 
out that the situation of a corporate-sponsored 
program and an independent producer making a 
show about a grassroots movement are not equiva- 
lent. Calling for a kind of "affirmative action" she 
says, "We all know that the views of people who 
are not financed by corporations are harder to get 
funding for." 

PBS agreed to meet with the coalition on March 
24 at which time Mori planned to ask PBS to 
reconsider the two rejected films. The coalition 
also intended to express its concern regarding the 
Empowerment Project's recent documentary The 
Panama Deception, which is currently pending 
PBS approval and which the coalition fears PBS 
will reject. While willing to respect PBS' editorial 
autonomy, Mori says, "We're trying to get out in 
front and put PBS on notice." 

The coalition's aims, however, are far broader 
than obtaining PBS broadcasts for a couple of 
films. "We're talking about a much bigger prob- 
lem than these two programs," Mori says. "We'll 
be talking about additional documentary series 



and the selective enforcement of these guide- 
lines." Chasnoff notes that there is only one na- 
tional series open to independents that includes 
political documentaries. That series, P.O.V., pro- 
vides only three or four slots each season since it 
mixes political programs with lighter, cultural 
fare. 

The deeper issue underlying this dispute is how 
PBS chooses to wend its way along the treacher- 
ous path between adherence to its original Con- 
gressional mandate for diverse programming and 
pressure from independents to comply with that 
mandate, and PBS' financial dependence on cor- 
porate underwriters and the good will of Con- 
gress. Cara Mertes, producer of WNET's Inde- 
pendent Focus series for the last four years, says 
that PBS programmers experience pressure to 
avoid controversy whether at the local or the 
national level. 

WNET was one of only three PBS affiliates to 
air Deadly Deception. Mertes made a case for the 
film by pointing out that it was not a vanity 
production designed to trumpet the virtues of 
INFACT and that individual donations to INFACT 
funded the film. WNET allowed the program to be 
aired, she says, because it was slated for Indepen- 
dent Focus, a well established, point of view 
series that airs late at night. Ultimately, General 
Electric's response to the broadcast was not puni- 
tive. At the request of General Electric, WNET 
included a statement of the company's position as 
part of the wraparound. Yet the lesson to be 
learned, Mertes cautions, is not necessarily that 
PBS programmers exaggerate how much pres- 
sure corporations will bring to bear on them. She 
points out that something that happens to an 
infrequent underwriter like General Electric may 
make a more generous PBS corporate sponsor 
wary in the future. 

Ironically, PBS needs series like P.O.V. (and 
others that the coalition will ask PBS to add to 
their schedule) in order to plausibly argue that 
they deal with controversial issues and are fulfill- 
ing their Congressional mandate. To wit, in dis- 
cussing the coalition's complaints, Jennifer 
Lawson repeatedly pointed to P.O.^.'s broadcast 
of Roger and Me to prove that PBS airs controver- 
sial programming and refuses to cower before 
underwriters. Yet PBS also needs to minimize its 
exposure. "Often," Mertes says, "PBS feels they 
can't invest in taking the heat. They need to invest 
in survival instead." 

BARBARA OSBORN 

Barbara O shorn is a freelance writer living in Los 
Angeles. 

WHAT'S IN NAME'S NAME? 

There's one in every high school: a teacher who 
shows Atomic Cafe in class and assigns students to 
write papers on sitcoms or the six o'clock news. In 
a effort to bring media arts education to the atten- 
tion of mainstream teachers, the recently formed 



10 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



National Alliance for Media Education (NAME) 
has undertaken the project of compiling a compre- 
hensive regional directory of media arts educa- 
tors, organizations, and resources. 

The National Endowment for the Arts has 
provided NAME, which functions under the aus- 
pices of the National Alliance for Media Arts & 
Culture (NAMAC), with a $50,000 grant to com- 
plete the project. According to Arthur Tsuchiya, 
assistant director of the Media Arts Programs for 
the NEA, this is the first program focusing on 
media arts education the NEA has funded since it 
formed a study group on the field three years ago. 
"Media arts education is an area that has been 
targeted over the last few years," he stated. 

NAME is driven by an if-you-can ' t-beat-them- 
join-them philosophy: because children spend so 
much time watching television, it is NAME's 
belief that students need to learn how to better 
evaluate media through both critical analysis and 
hands-on media production. According to first- 
year project coordinator Robin White, the direc- 
tory will bring a new slant to the emerging con- 
cern over the need for media education. The 
directory represents "an effort to put arts in media 
education in a way the public can understand. 
Artists are always marginalized," says White. 
Deborah Leveranz, director of education of the 
Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) 
and a member of NAME'S national steering com- 
mittee, states that NAME will be working towards 
"developing future artists and a media-literate 
public." 

White, a producer and curator for media works 
by young people, hopes that NAME will strengthen 
the media arts community by working with a 
number of different arts education organizations. 
"What we're hoping is that by collaborating, we 
can set a precedent for working in the media arts 
education field." Leveranz also states that "when 
people are doing things in isolation, they're not 
getting the recognition" they deserve. Kathleen 
Tyner of Strategies for Media Literacy and a 
member of NAME'S steering committee, adds 
that the diversity of NAME's members, who 
come from such areas as education, arts, industry, 
and government, makes the organization unique. 
"NAME provides context for a discourse between 
different fields," Tyner says. 

The final product will theoretically resemble a 
telephone book of the resources available in the 
media arts education field. The first section will 
give a short reading about each person or organi- 
zation and the tapes, syllabi, and books that each 
has produced. The second part will list regional 
media organizations, so that an educator will 
know whom to contact in media education in any 
part of the country. Although there are no definite 
plans for publication and distribution, White says 
that NAME hopes to make the directory available 
to mainstream educators from the pre-school to 
the high school levels. White estimates that the 
book will be completed by the summer of 1 994. 

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12 THE INDEPENDENT 



began thinking about the NAME project at a 
conference in Portland. Oregon, in July 1 99 1 . But 
it was not until April 1992, at a conference hosted 
by SWAMP, that NAME was actually founded. 
"Media arts education was the hot issue — we 
knew that without strong education we were not 
going to have audiences and makers," says 
Leveranz. NAME will be working with the Na- 
tional Telemedia Council, which began designing 
a database to organize names of organizations in 
the educational media field. NAME has begun 
sending out survey forms to all known individuals 
and organizations involved with media education 
requesting basic information. 

White says that NAME hopes to continue be- 
yond its first year in order to pursue other projects 
that will make media arts resources easily acces- 
sible to educators. She cites a compilation reel of 
student and independent art works and a media 
education resource guide as other possible en- 
deavors for NAME. 

To have your name, organization, or resource 
listed with NAME, please send a postcard with the 
name and address, to: Robin White, National 
Alliance for Media Education, c/o OEP, 84 
Wooster St, New York, NY 10012. 

WENDY GREENE 

Wendy Greene is a freelance writer living in 
Brooklyn, New York. 

DISCOVERY CHANNEL 
SPOTLIGHTS INDEPENDENTS 

Those tuning in to the Discovery Channel for their 
usual dose of nature and military documentaries 
this month are in for a big surprise. Throughout 
April, the cable channel will spotlight U.S. inde- 
pendent filmmakers on its regular Sunday night 
series, Discovery Sunday. 

Discovery's programming team chose seven 
documentaries: Blood in the Face by Kevin 
Rafferty. Anne Bohlen, and James Ridgeway, 
which looks at Neo-Nazism in America; Little 
People, by Jan Kravitz and Thomas Ott, which 
deals with the everyday trials of dwarves; Leg- 
ends by liana Bar-Din, Claes Thulin, and Sarah 
Jackson; Lisa Law 'a Flashing on the Sixties, which 
explores the era of hippies and spiritualism; and 
Atomic Cafe by Pierce and Kevin Rafferty and 
Jayne Loder. Radio Bikini and Farewell Good 
Brothers, two documentaries by Robert Stone, 
round off the month's selections. 

Most of the films in the tribute are not new and 
have already been shown in theaters and on tele- 
vision, both in the U.S. and abroad. Some, like 
Blood in the Face and Atomic Cafe achieved 
notable success in the U.S. and were also distrib- 
uted in Japan, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. 

Discovery's tribute signifies the channel's at- 
tempt to air more varied, original work. Accord- 
ing to programming executives, its commitment 
to independent works won't end in April. With its 
large coproduction budget, Discovery is a pos- 
sible funding source for independents. 

APRIL 1993 




Atomic Cafe is one of 
seven independent 
documentaries slated 
to appear on the 
Discovery Channel's 
Discovery Sunday 
series in April during 
the network's month- 
long tribute to 
independents. 

Courtesy filmmakers 



One example of how Discovery' has opened its 
airwaves and pocketbooks to the work of indepen- 
dent films is Academy Award nominee Robert 
Stone's documentary Farewell Good Brother. 
Stone coproduced the documentary with Discov- 
ery, and, rather than being distributed to theaters 
initially, the film will premiere on Discovery on 
April 4. Stone says part of the reason coproductions 
with cable TV are becoming an outlet for indepen- 
dent producers is that other sources of funding 
may be drying up. "The days when you could do 
megabucks documentaries from grants is over," 
he added. "We all dream of theatrical success, but 
theatrical distribution is not generally a money- 
making enterprise. You can't go on planning on 
it." 

How much control each side has in the making 
of the production varies. In the case of Farewell 
Good Brothers, a documentary that explores be- 
lief in extra-terrestrial life. Stone had already 
begun filming when he approached Discovery. 
Executives in production saw the rushes, liked 
them, and agreed to fund completion of the film 
with Stone retaining complete control. "They 
were great. They left me totally alone and gave me 
money," he said. As a filmmaker with an Acad- 
emy Award nomination (for 1987's Radio Bikini, 
a look at the U.S. government's nuclear tests on 
the Bikini Atoll) already under his belt, Stone 
admits his was not a typical case, although he said 
the channel is looking for "more high-profile, 
quirky, or weird things to broaden their base." 

Many at Discovery agree. "We are always 
interested in dealing with independents," said 
ChucK Gingold, executive vice president in charge 



of programming. "We 
have a lot of opportuni- 
ties zfor classic docu- 
mentaries, one-offs, lim- 
ited series. They occupy 
some primary program- 
ming time." 

Discovery encourages 
filmmakers looking for 
coproduction partners to 
mail a quality treatment 
with a clearly outlined 
subject and bios of the 
people involved in pro- 
duction. "The subject matter is very important," 
said Gingold, "and every treatment is given a full 
read." Although Gingold said he is not at liberty to 
discuss Discovery's coproduction budget, he 
hinted that the network deals with small and high- 
end budgets. "If it is something we really want, 
we'll find a way to fund it," he said. 

INGALISA SCHROBSDORFF 

Ingalisa Schrobsdorff is a freelance arts writer 
living in New York City. 

JOHN DORR: 1944-1993 

John Dorr came to Hollywood as a Yale graduate 
wanting to make his own films. He quickly learned 
that his movies weren't Hollywood's, so he cre- 
ated his own system of movie making and called 
it EZTV, L.A.'s first video equipment access and 
exhibition center. 

EZTV, which will celebrate its tenth anniver- 
sary this spring, became the inspirational center 
for independent work that didn 't fit Hollywood or 
art world molds. Working out of a loft on Santa 
Monica Boulevard. Dorr offered an exhibition 
venue for work that couldn't be seen elsewhere 
and a helping hand for producers with small 
budgets, sacrificing time he might have spent on 
his own videos. During his memorial service, 
artist Susan Mogul referred to EZTV as a family 
whose door was always open no matter how 
chaotic or overextended they were. 

BARBARA OSBORN 




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APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 13 



Peter Friedman 

DOCUMENTARIAN 

Silverlake Life: 
The View from Here 

Peter Friedman has just come from a screening of 
his feature-length documentary Silverlake Life: 
The View from Here at Sundance, where it picked 
up the documentary competition prize, plus the 
Freedom of Expression Award. He surveys the 
crowded reception area. "This kind of hubbub, 
interfacing stuff, is not my favorite part of film- 
making," Friedman admits. "Particularly with this 
film, in that it's about the death of two people I 
was very close to. It's very, very difficult for me 
to promote it." 




Silverlake Life is the story of filmmaker Tom 
Joslin and his lover of 22 years, Mark Massi. 
When the two were diagnosed with AIDS, Joslin 
decided to shoot a video diary. Shot primarily in 
their home in the Silverlake section of Los Ange- 
les, Silverlake Life is a powerful chronicle of what 
it is to live, and die, with AIDS. Because Joslin 
and Massi videotaped themselves, the documen- 
tary avoids the trap of voyeurism. Ultimately, it is 
a story of love, demonstrating the depth of feeling 
and commitment between the two men. 

Friedman had been a student of Joslin's in 1 976 
when both were at Hampshire College in Massa- 
chusetts. "I was Tom's protege," Friedman re- 
calls. "He was the reason I got into film, my first 
film teacher. And he was the first openly gay 
person I ever knew, a role model for me." 

When Joslin's strength began to fail, Friedman 
helped Massi with the taping. Eventually Friedman 
took over the project with Joslin's blessing. But in 
so doing, Friedman faced his own personal 
struggle. There was first the ordeal of reviewing 
over 40 hours of tapes — re- 
playing his friends' physical 
decline and Joslin's death. "I 
spent about two months just 
looking at the material, think- 
ing about it, and transcribing 
it before I really decided that 
I was going to do it." 

Then Friedman had to deal 
with his biggest conflict: how 
to make a film that would be 
true to his mentor and 
teacher's vision. He was able 
to proceed only after decid- 
ing that he shouldn't try to 
second-guess what Joslin 
would have done, but make it 
his own film. "I knew that it 
was more of a betrayal to 
Tom to try to imitate him 
than it was to make the best 
film that I could," says 
Friedman. "The fact that I did 
what I wanted to do with the 
film is central to what the 
film is about: the premature 
loss of the creative vision that 
was Tom's life." 

Silverlake Life does not 
hold back in its portrayal of 

Courtesy videomoker 



the devastating physical effects of AIDS. For 
many general audiences, it is a revelation to watch 
an adult body weaken, discolor, and waste away to 
60 pounds. Massi films his lover's body moments 
after Joslin dies. Less than a year away from his 
own death, he is grieving audibly and continues 
taping as funeral home officials put the skeletal 
remains into a body bag and carry Joslin away. It 
is a powerful scene which leaves many audiences 
numbed. 

"Homosexuality and death are two things that 
this culture is not very good at dealing with. In the 
case of AIDS, it's where they both come to- 
gether," Friedman observes. But neither he nor his 
producers, Doug Block and Jane Weiner, con- 
sider Silverlake Life a film about AIDS and death. 
Rather, it's about this particular relationship, which 
was positive, caring, and filled with meaning. 
Says Friedman, "Tom and Mark believed in living 
their lives honestly and making examples out of 
themselves and holding up their experience. They 
believed, and I agree, that there's a universality to 
be found in the personal, if it's articulated prop- 
erly." 

Friedman previously produced and directed 
the documentaries / Talk to Animals, about an 
animal therapist, and Fighting in Southwest Loui- 
siana, which follows the daily life of an openly 
gay rural mailman. "They're all portraits," 
Friedman notes. "And they're all portraits of 
people who in one way or another are outsiders, 
and who have invented themselves." 

Friedman believes in combining the intimacy, 
flexibility, and relatively low cost of shooting in 
small-format video with professional high-end 
postproduction. Silverlake Life was shot on Hi8 
and S-VHS, remastered on Beta SP, roughcut on 
an Avid, on-lined on D-l, digitally mixed on 
Screensound, and finally transferred to film for 
festival and theatrical release. 

Says Block, "We felt strongly that this docu- 
mentary is so powerful and the subject so impor- 
tant that, despite its small-format video origins, it 
deserved to be a feature film." The film has been 
picked up by Zeitgeist for theatrical distribution. 
In addition, it will kick off P.O. V. \s season in June 
and will also appear that month on Channel Four 
in the UK and on the European cultural channel 
Arte, coinciding with the International AIDS Con- 
ference in Berlin. 

LORRI SHUNDICH 

Lord Shundich is a screenwriter living in New 
York City. 



14 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



Srinivas Krishna 

WRITER/DIRECTOR 
Masala 

A "masala" is a combination of spices or, figura- 
tively, any spicy combination of elements. And 
writer/director/star Srinivas Krishna's first fea- 
ture, Masala, is a heady mix indeed, giddily 
deploying genre — lifted both from Hollywood 
and Bombay — to skewer the idiosyncrasies of 
diasporic Indians and interrogate the meaning of 
life between cultures. 




Courtesy Strand Releasing 

Krishna plays a junkie (also named Krishna) 
orphaned years before in a tragic Air India crash. 
After years away, he returns to his family in 
Toronto to find some stability and money. In- 
stead, he finds his uncle Lallu conniving with Sikh 
terrorists to monopolize the world sari trade. Lallu 's 
cousin Tikkoo is locked in a battle with the Cana- 
dian post office over control of a priceless stamp. 
A very blue Hindu god (also named Krishna) is 
harangued by a bossy grandmother into doing the 
family favors. The kids are facing arranged mar- 
riages with horror. Krishna (the human character) 
jumps into the fray, insulting his uncles and graphi- 
cally bedding Tikko's daughter, Rita, until his 



past and the city's acculturated violence combine 
to cut short his visit home. 

A handsome and self-assured man in his late 
twenties. Krishna (the director) was involved in 
theater production and made two short dramatic 
films in New York before returning to his child- 
hood home in Toronto to make Masala. He sees 
the film coming from "a long history of what 
happens when you go abroad. You step outside of 
caste and religion. You become an individual, and 
there is great resistance to this in India. And yet all 
of the nation's recent history has been about 
returning diasporas. 

"'What the film talks about is the construction 
of identity in the face of resistance to individua- 
tion," Krishna continues. "When I said it is a film 
about masala. it is about locating this issue — in a 
state of politics, a state of 
mind, a state of psychology, 
a state of culture, a state of 
body. And to hit it from every 
angle." 

A big part of Masala' s 
success — it has already en- 
joyed strong releases in 
Canada and Great Britain and 
will be opening theatrically 
in the US in April — is Saeed 
Jaffrey, star of Stephen 
Frear's My Beautiful Laun- 
derette and Sammy andRosie 
Get Laid. Jaffrey plays three 
parts in Masala — sari mogul 
Lallu, postal worker Tikkoo, 
and the great god Krishna 
himself. 

"I just sent him the script," 
recalls Krishna. "And when I 
called him, he said he really 
related to it. So, when I got 
some money together, I went 
to see him. That was the first 
time I heard the script read 
out loud. It was so wonder- 
ful, that on the spot I asked 
him to play all three parts. 

"Saeed's participation dra- 
matically changed the nature 
of the project. Originally I 
intended to make a very cheap 
film, using friends and favors. But with Saeed, the 
budget [S1.5-million] and scope of the project 
escalated to a degree I didn't at all expect." 

Masala has infuriated many British and Cana- 
dian community elders, one of whom called the 
film "immoral and unwatchable," as much for the 
steamy sex between its Indian principals as for its 
biting satire of community politics. "This shrill- 
ness of reaction really shocked me," says Krishna. 
"I wondered what I'd done. I believe it may 
partially be a question of age — that those people 
who hated the film may inhabit an airplane in a 
way that is very different from the way I inhabit an 
airplane." 



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APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 15 



Come again .' 

"You see, we see space and time in a very 
different way. This comes as much from a multi- 
tude of transmigrations as from having televisions 
and telephones. The way my film looks and feels 
comes directly from the problems of a rootless 
life — too much travel, too much technology." 

Those same elders have watched their children 
flock to the movie in droves. In fact, among hip 
young children of Indian and Pakistani families, 
Krishna has become something of a sex symbol. 

"I think they like the irreverence of the film," 
Krishna admits. "There is a great deal that is 
surreal about life in the diaspora, and I think these 
kids connect with that. This is also a representa- 
tion of them, which they can't find in Hollywood 
or the Hindi movie houses." 

About his own appeal, Krishna is more coy. "I 
find it sort of funny," he says. "I only cast myself 
at the last minute, when we couldn't find an actor 
we wanted. I had to be talked into it." 

NOAH COWAN 

Noah Cowan interviewed Srinivas Krishna at the 
International Film Festival of India in New Delhi, 
which he was attending as a freelance journalist 
and programmer for the Toronto Festival of 
Festivals. 



Nora Jacobson 

DOCUMENTARIAN 
Delivered Vacant 

At its world premiere last October at the New 
York Film Festival, Nora Jacobson's documen- 
tary feature Delivered Vacant received excellent 
reviews and an ovation from the sold-out audi- 
ence. In January, it was well-received at Sundance. 
But like most documentaries seeking distribution 
today, this film about the political and sociologi- 
cal problems of housing in Hoboken, New Jersey, 
has not been an easy sell, no matter how engross- 
ing and intelligent. Still, its prospects are better 
than most, for if there's one thing that character- 
izes Jacobson and her work on this project, it's 
persistence. 

Delivered Vacant was over a decade in the 
making. It started when Jacobson moved to 
Hoboken in 1 980, after getting her Masters degree 
from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 
where she studied film with Stan Brakhage, Owen 
Land (a.k.a. George Landow), Fred Camper, and 
P. Adams Sitney. While in Chicago, she had 
begun to shoot a series of films on the city, in the 
spirit of ethnographic research. 

"When I moved to Hoboken," the filmmaker 
recalls, "I wanted to make a series of films on what 
a city is. I started with the idea of making five or 




Photo: Tim Daly, courtesy filmmaker 

six short films — on the local bakery, a sweatshop, 
an Italian feast, a Puerto Rican dance, a fire." One 
film concerned a shelter for the homeless which 
opened in her neighborhood in 1 982; she planned 
to show the daily routine of the residents as they 
checked in, ate, slept, then left in the morning. But 
as she talked to the shelter's residents, she realized 
many had been displaced from the local rooming 
houses which were being converted into condos. 
Some of these had been burned to force the tenants 
out. 

"By 1983-84 real estate development was the 
hot topic of conversation in Hoboken," Jacobson 
says. "In the 1985 mayoral [campaign], housing 
had become the main issue. I began to see that 
there was no easy solution to the problems of 
housing. The tenants need protection to ensure 
adequate housing, but the landlords own the prop- 
erty and need to use the property as they see fit." 

Jacobson was also working on a short film 
about a young woman who worked on Wall Street 
and lived in a rental apartment in Hoboken. The 
filmmaker was interested in showing the ritual of 
the daily commute on the PATH train and the 
woman 's interaction with shopkeepers and neigh- 
borhood residents. As Jacobson filmed, she be- 
came aware of the interrelations between all the 
different pieces — how the personal stories con- 
cerning gentrification, displacement, and tenant 



rights were connected to the 
political stories of the may- 
oral campaigns and city coun- 
cil meetings. 

The idea of a feature- 
length film, rather than a se- 
ries of shorts, crystallized by 
1990. By then, both the per- 
sonal and political stories had 
progressed. A "people's 
mayor" had ousted the in- 
cumbent; tenant-rights legis- 
lation had finally passed. But 
this was too late for many of 
the people featured in the film, 
who had already lost their 
homes to development. Ja- 
cobson herself was among 
those affected. She was forced 
to move after her building 
went up in flames, and the 
owners subsequently con- 
verted it into a condo. 

The strength of Delivered 
Vacant lies in its comprehen- 
sive overview of a complex 
situation. The accumulation 
of detail and the multiple per- 
spectives are impressive; re- 
viewers have pointed out the 
novelistic sweep of the film, 
with comparisons to Balzac 
and Dickens. Jacobson pro- 
vides not only a decade-long 
chronicle of the gentrification 
process in Hoboken, she does so with the knowl- 
edge and familiarity of an insider. Her method of 
shooting — she was often the sole crew member — 
afforded her an intimacy which is rare, abetted, of 
course, by the fact that Jacobson was filming her 
neighbors, friends, and acquaintances. 

"The kind of training I had at the Chicago Art 
Institute was such that I was encouraged to work 
by myself, so working without a crew — doing the 
camera work, the sound, and the editing by my- 
self — seemed natural," she explains. 

"The idea of creating a feature-length film that 
could be shown theatrically didn't happen until 
relatively late in the filming process," Jacobson 
adds, "but I had been encouraged by films like 
Streetwise, documentaries which have been shown 
theatrically." 

Jacobson has pulled off the difficult feat of 
creating a highly accomplished first feature. And 
she has successfully constructed a film that shows 
"what a city is." The question now is whether 
audiences will be given the chance to see the fruits 
of her decade-long labour. 

DARYLCHIN 

Daryl Chin is a writer and curator living in New 
York City. 



16 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



Alberto Barbera 

FESTIVAL DIRECTOR 

Festival Internazionale 
Cinema Giovani 

Forget the shroud (it's not even on view). Turin 
(Torino), Italy is one of the most striking urban 
landscapes in Europe. The airy, arcaded neoclas- 
sical structures downtown are breathtakingly lit at 
night — it's a tasteful Las Vegas. But Turin is an 
urban dialectic: the city is also the home of Fiat, 
the large working-class neighborhoods that serve 
it, and their rebellious children, the Red Brigades. 

What has remained consistent in Turin, at least 
over the past decade, is a commitment to young, 
new independent film and video. (I met a former 
Red Brigade executioner there who was sen- 
tenced to prison for the next 1 20 years. Allowed to 
work outside during the day, he has completed a 
film internship and is now writing a dissertation 
on an obscure Italian director of the 1930s.) A 
young man named Mimmo De Gaetano heads the 
Mediatheque, which, with 
city funds, catalogs and helps 
preserve all of the indepen- 
dent Italian films and videos 
of the last 10 years. The local 
cinematheque programs films 
in three theaters every day. 
And, since 1982, the Festival 
Internazionale Cinema Gio- 
vani ( International Festival of 
Young Cinema) — a model of 
efficiency, graciousness, and 
thoroughness — has presented 
new works to enthusiastic 
crowds every November. Its 
director since 1 989 is Alberto 
Barbera. a gentle, soft-spo- 
ken man of 42 who came to 
Turin in 1969 from a small, 
nearby town to study and 
completed a dissertation on 
film history and criticism. 

According to Barbera. the 
festival was founded in 1982 
as a showcase for indepen- 
dent works (including super 
8 and video) with "youth" 
themes, made by directors 
under 35. By 1984 it began 
shifting to a broader mix, with a special interest in 
the Third World and the Far East. In 1986 the 
youth theme focus was relaxed and the age limit 
removed. (Barbera did say, however, that the 
young age of the directors is still an important 
component in his decision to include films.) The 
festival operates on a budget of less than Si- 
million, two-thirds of which comes from the city 



of Turin. No political agenda exists. Barbera 
claims. He single-handedly selects all of the fea- 
ture films in both the competing and noncompeting 
sections. (Stefano Delia Casa chooses the shorts 
and videos.) Features in competition must be 
either first or second works and need only be 
Italian premieres. "Rotterdam and Locarno are 
places that are references for the independent 
cinema," says Barbera. "We would like to be the 
Italian reference for the independent cinema of 
the world." 

Some of the gems this year suggest the scope of 
Turin's survey: Takashi Ishi's Original Sin, from 
Japan; Sanou Kollo's Jigi (The Hope), from 
Burkina Faso; Clara Law's Autumn Moon, from 
Hong Kong: and Veit Helmer's short film Within 
Grasp, from Germany (probably the best work in 
the entire festival). Few features find Italian dis- 
tributors at Turin because the November festival 
dates follow those of the other chief venues for 
independent films. 

Since 1986, an average of five U.S. indepen- 
dent features have played each year, including 
Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law. Maggie Green- 
wald's Home Remedy and The Kill Off. Michael 
Lehmann's Heathers. Alex Cox's Walker. Gregg 
Araki's Three Bewildered People in the Night. 




Courtesy Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani 

St. Clair Bourne's Making "Do the Right Thing," 
and John Sayles' Eight Men Out and City of Hope. 
Alexandre Rockwell, John McNaughton, 
Lehmann, Matthew Patrick, and Everett Lewis, 
among others, have brought their films to Turin. 
Nevertheless, Barbera admits that U.S. inde- 
pendents are underrepresented at the fest, citing as 
the primary reason different cultural perspectives 




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and the inability to see all of the independent work 
from this country. (Inadequate scouting is another 
one he is too kind to state.) This year Araki's The 
Living End was perhaps the most interesting of the 
works by U.S. independents (along with a Hal 
Hartley retrospective), but it was offset by such 
conventional American Film Institute fare as 
William Chartoff's Colored Balloons and Steven 
Shainberg's The Prom and such uninspired pseudo- 
narratives as Temistocles Lopez's roundelay, 
Chain of Desirt. Emanuela Martini's tribute to 
1960s American independent cinema — low-bud- 
get gore and camp by the likes of Herk Harvey, 
Russ Meyer, Hershell Gordon Lewis, William 
Asher, and Brian DePalma — was, however, a 
knockout. 

The biggest problem the festival faces, how- 
ever, is finding appropriate features from the host 
country. Most Italian directors want to present 
their works at the Venice International Film Fes- 
tival in September, so those who are rejected by 
Venice miss the deadline for Turin and other 
Italian festivals. Adds Barbera, echoing much of 
the sentiment expressed these days among 
cineastes in Italy, "There are only a couple of good 
Italian films every year." 

Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani, Pi- 
azza San Carlo, 161 10123 Torino, Italia; tel: 39 
(0)1 1 5623309; fax: 39 (0)1 1 5629796. 

HOWARD FEINSTEIN 

Howard Feinstein is a freelance fdm journalist 
living in New York. 



AIVF REGIONAL 
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AIVF has a network of regional correspondents 
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recruitment in areas of the country outside New 
York. AIVF members are urged to contact them 
about AIVF-related needs and problems, your 
activities, and other relevant information and news: 

Howard Aaron, Northwest Film and Video Ctr., 
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18 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL T993 




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IN DIRE STRAIT$ 

Downsized by Half, the New York State Council on the Arts Restructures 



LUCINDA FURLONG 




Since 1 989, when it reached a$54.8-million peak, 
the New York State Council on the Arts (N YSCA) 
has lost 50 percent of its budget. As a result, its 
staff has been cut by a third, site visits outside New 
York City are now almost impossible, funding 
awards have been reduced, and some program 
categories have been suspended while others, 
such as film and video production, face alternate 
year funding. 

In January Governor Mario Cuomo submitted 
his budget proposal for fiscal year 1993-94, but 
this contained no hint of light at the end of the 
tunnel. Cuomo recommended another 13 percent 
cut for the agency, bringing its budget down to 
$24.6-million. While the state legislature may 
restore a portion of the cut during the spring 
budget negotiations, as it has in the past, some 
kind of reduction is probable. 



One controversial step is the Regional 
Partnership Plan, in which NYSCA funds will 
be allocated for regional regrant programs. 

Given its dire financial straits, top personnel at 
NYSCA are looking for ways to save money 
beyond whittling away at individual line items. 
More fundamental structural changes are moving 
off the drawing board and into practice. These 
include a new decentralization plan now being 
tested in three areas of New York State and a 
three-project limit per organizational grant appli- 
cant, introduced a year ago. Whether these will 
suffice to save NYSCA — once considered an in- 
novator and exemplar for arts funding agencies — 
or whether they will mark the end of an era will 
become evident soon enough. 



The 3-projec t limit 



Anticipating the need for coping strategies, 
NYSCA formed an official Planning Committee 
in 1991 . One of its first recommendations was to 
impose a three-project limit on all organizations 
applying for funding (with an additional request 
permitted to the Arts-in-Education program). 

The three-project limit, implemented in March 
1992, has achieved its desired effect of reducing 
the number of grant applications. But the cost to 
media is dear. Over 50 multi-arts centers and local 
arts councils have curtailed or eliminated their 
film and media programs. Particularly hard hit are 
upstate organizations. Forced to choose among 



program categories, these groups have had to 
forego the possibility of continued funding from 
the Electronic Media and Film (EMF) program in 
favor of other organizational priorities. Some 
have had longstanding exhibition and screening 
programs, including the Donnell Media Center of 
the New York Public Library, Dance Theater 
Workshop, the Islip Town Art Museum, and the 
Afrikan Poetry Theater in Jamaica, Queens. Oth- 
ers present programs in areas that have had little 
exposure to the independent media arts, such as 
theOlean Public Library, the UpperCatskill Com- 
munity Art Center, and the Rome Art and Com- 
munity Center. 

EMF director Deborah Silverfine has attempted 
to maintain some level of support for these upstate 
and underserved communities by establishing a 
film and video rental regrant program. Organiza- 
tions that have hit their three-project limit can still 
apply for funds for film and videotape program- 
ming through the Experimental Television Center 
in Owego. 

Silverfine has also created a two-year technical 
assistance pilot project with funds from the Na- 
tional Endowment for the Arts' State Arts Agen- 
cies initiative. The fund, which will be adminis- 
tered through Cornell Cinema, will support tech- 
nical assistance for the exhibition of film and 
electronic media by rural and minority-run orga- 
nizations. 

The Regio nal Partn ership Plan 

NYSCA's long-term survival strategy involves 
devising ways to develop new funding partner- 
ships and increase visibility for NYSCA-funded 
activities. As part of its new PR effort, NYSCA is 
considering "your-tax-dollars-at-work" signs, 
similar to those seen at highway construction 
sites, posted at public arts events. In addition, 
Silverfine and Linda Earle, who now heads both 
the Individual Artists' and Museum Aid pro- 
grams, are organizing a statewide touring pro- 
gram celebrating 25 years of NYSCA-funded 
films and videotapes. 

A more controversial step is the Regional Part- 
nership Plan. This Planning Committee recom- 
mendation was put into effect last summer as a 
pilot program in three regions of the state: the 
Catskills, Western New York, and the Bronx. 

Representatives from arts organizations in these 
areas were called to a meeting in July to discuss 
the possibility of a new, locally-based funding 
structure. According to the plan, NYSCA funds 
will be allocated for regional regrant programs 



20 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



Arts advocates believe NYSCA has fallen 
victim to Cuomo's continuing feud with the 
Republican leadership — in particular, his 
personal animosity toward State Senator Roy 
Goodman, chair of the Senate arts committee. 



and their administrative costs. However, the pre- 
cise details of the pilot remain vague, primarily 
because NYSCA executive director Mary Hays 
and the Council, NYSCA's governing board.have 
invited each region to work with them on devising 
their own implementation plans. Each plan would 
be subject to NYSCA approval. 

As Hays explained in a memo to constituents 
last August, the purpose of the pilot progTam is to 
"broaden the understanding and support" for 
NYSCA-funded activities "by approaching the 
distribution of [NYSCA's] ongoing support 
through a partnership involving all the local arts 
groups." Calling the pilot part of a long-term 
strategy for an era of diminished funding. Hays 
hopes it will accomplish two goals: garner support 
for the arts not only from state legislators, but 
from corporations and other entities, and reduce 
the costs of its current centralized funding struc- 
ture. "There is a real developmental aspect to it," 
she told The Independent. "With less resources, 
we can't be as centralized. We're attempting to 
see if we can create a cooperative approach to 
localities. The partnership is mutually developed." 

Each of the three regions has responded with 
varying degrees of enthusiasm. The Bronx, under 
the leadership of the Bronx Arts Council, has 
already established a regrant mechanism and held 
an application workshop in January. In Western 
New York, however, discussions over the pilot 
have stalled. According to one Buffalo arts ad- 
ministrator, "There is a great deal of suspicion 
among the various groups [toward one another], 
which makes it hard for them to organize around 
something as loaded as NYSCA funding." 

Meanwhile in the Catskill region, arts groups, 
fearful that the pilot would pit them against each 
other, began with the feeling, "If it ain't broke, 
don't fix it." This sentiment was eventually set 
aside and a two-phase plan developed. According 
to Pamela Cooley, director of the Upper Catskill 
Council on the Arts and one of the plan's authors, 
first an office will be established to serve as a 
communications and technical assistance arm 
which will help the arts community interface with 
business, political, educational, and social service 
agencies, and the general public. "It's a way to 
give the arts a foundation in the community with 
as much clout as these other sectors," Cooley 
explains. After a one-year trial period, the group 
will evaluate the office's effectiveness and decide 
if it wants to proceed with developing a regrant 
structure. According to Cooley, "My feeling is 



i*.hat we '11 be able to do what we want to do without 
going to regranting." 

A wary response 

While sympathetic to the agency's plight, many 
arts advocates are confused by the plan's vague- 
ness and wary of the implications of locally orga- 
nized panels. At present, it is not clear whether 
these decentralized panels would review work by 
discipline, as is now the case at NYSCA, or 
whether a single local panel would compare dance 
applicants with video artists, museum exhibition 
programs, etc. 

An equally thorny issue centers around which 
grant applications would be handled locally and 
which would go to NYSCA. According to Hays, 
all project support applications — i.e. film/ 
videomakers and other artists, plus organizations 
seeking funds for discrete projects — would be 
evaluated by NYSCA panels. Also, applications 
from organizations deemed by NYSCA to be 
"primary" would continue to be reviewed by peer 
panels selected by NYSCA program staff. Pri- 
mary organizations are defined by NYSCA as 
"eligible arts organizations which, by the quality 
of their arts services, or by the importance of their 
contributions to a significant population or the 
arts discipline in which they specialize, are par- 
ticularly important to the cultural life of New 
York State...." By law, 50 percent of NYSCA's 
program budget must be allocated to these groups. 
But all "non-primary" organizations seeking gen- 
eral operating support would have to apply to the 
designated regional entity. 

And therein lies the problem: if panels are 
drawn locally, what's to prevent conflict of inter- 
est? How can expertise in each discipline be 
assured? Is there a large enough pool of panelists 
in each region to evaluate the different disciplines 
free of conflict? And will the panels even be 
discipline-based? This is particularly a problem in 
regions lacking constituents with expertise in the 
media arts field. 

In a letter to Hays and the Council last January, 
the New York City Arts Coalition, an advocacy 
group, pointed out that regional funding panels 
would effectively result in a two-tier hierarchy, 
creating the "perception that local panels are not 
quite as 'expert' as NYSCA panels, especially 
since applications from primary organizations are 
to remain with NYSCA for evaluation." The coa- 
lition also questioned how such a funding struc- 
ture might work in New York City, where it could 




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degenerate into a patronage system. 

The coalition urged Hays and the Council to 
reconsider the pilot, saying it was "based on 
flawed premises and does not provide solutions to 
the real problems facing the arts in New York 
State." The coalition questioned whether the pilot 
would actually save money, since it will in effect 
introduce another administrative layer to the fund- 
ing process. 

While acknowledging that it may not save 
money. Hays argues that it will strengthen each 
region's cultural identity and improve their ability 
to fundraise locally. Both Hays and deputy direc- 
tor Barbara Haspiel emphasize that the pilot is an 
experiment, subject to revision or outright cancel- 
lation. Hays pointed out that, no matter what the 
outcome, the process has already had a "rejuve- 
nating effect" on demoralized Council members 
and staff. According to Haspiel, the pilot is pan of 
a larger outreach effort, which also involves Coun- 
cil members traveling around the state at their own 
expense to develop closer ties to the various 
regions. As Haspiel put it, "If it doesn't work, it 
doesn't mean it's a failure." 

The coalition's letter listed one further criti- 
cism: While agreeing that increased local input is 
a worthy goal, they said there is no evidence to 
support the assumption that giving localities deci- 
sion-making power over local grants will garner 
more support in Albany. They argued that the 
"lack of political support for NYSCA lies not with 
the legislative branch, but with the executive." 

Hays responds that, "Until the economy im- 
proves or there is more interest from the executive 
branch," NYSCA must change the way it awards 
grants. "We can't sit here in this shrunken state 
and hope that five years from now someone will 
think [NYSCA] should be expanded." 

The Cuomo curse 

Commissioned in 1 960 as a temporary state agency 
and established in 1965 as a permanent agency, 
NYSCA is the oldest public arts agency in the 
country, and it remains the largest state arts coun- 
cil. More important, it is recognized as a national 
leader in arts funding. NYSCA's peer panel pro- 
cess, now widely used by both public and private 
funders, was the model in 1965 for the newly 
created National Endowment for the Arts. NYSCA 
is arguably the single most important catalyst for 
the development of the independent media arts as 
a "field." In 1 967, it was the first state arts council 
to recognize independent film as a creative en- 
deavor worthy of public funding. It was consid- 
ered at the cutting edge when it initiated funding 
for video and audio/radio in 1971 . 

Under Governor Cuomo, NYSCA received 
modest increases throughout the 1980s. But after 
the 1987 Wall Street crash, the state slid into a 
crippling recession. Since 1990, Cuomo has 
steadily decreased NYSCA's budget, with the 
most bruising blow in 1 992, when the agency was 
cut from roughly $50-million to $28-million. Leg- 
islators argue these are austere times. But, as arts 



22 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



advocates repeatedly point out. NYSCA has sus- 
tained proportionally far deeper cuts than any 
other state agency. Many suggest political factors 
are also at work. 

Indeed. NYSCA's pummeling at the hands of 
Cuomo is puzzling given the Democrats" tradi- 
tional support forthe arts nationally. But while the 
NEA was a product of Lyndon Johnson's Great 
Society, NYSCA is the child of a Republican, 
Nelson Rockefeller, and the agency's strongest 
support has always come from the Republican- 
controlled State Senate. Arts advocates believe 
that NYSCA has fallen victim to Cuomo's con- 
tinuing feud with the Republican leadership — in 
particular, his personal animosity toward State 
Senator Roy Goodman. Goodman is chair of the 
Senate Special Committee on the Arts and Cul- 
tural Affairs, which recommends funding levels 
for NYSCA. 

A year ago Goodman's committee recom- 
mended a freeze for the agency, arguing that it had 
already taken big hits the previous three years. 
Again this year, according to Robert Russell, 
Albany director of the Senate arts committee. 
Goodman will ask that its current budget of $27.5- 
million be maintained. He and other NYSCA 
supporters in the Legislature justify their position 
by pointing out that Cuomo has called for a $4- 
million increase in the state's budget for its "I 
Love New York" campaign. Still, even if success- 
ful, NYSCA's budget would be roughly the level 
it was in 1976. 

This year's proposed 13-percent cut was less 
than anticipated. But Cuomo's continued assault 
on the agency is likely to continue, and many 
wonder how long NYSCA can withstand its de 
facto dismantling before irreparable damage is 
done to New York's status as a national arts 
leader. 

Luanda Furlong is a curator and critic living in 
Brooklyn. 



Christos Kostianis 

nematograph 



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APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 23 



Rising from the Ruins 



Local TV helps define a now Kurdish identity 




LAURA DAVIDSON 

WITH PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUSAN MEISELAS 



aNDER THE COVER OF ALLIED AIRPLANES AND THE SILENCE OF THE 
Western media, the Kurds in Northern Iraq have hijacked the 
Iraqi broadcasting system and set up their own television net- 
works. Since the end of the Gulf War and the establishment of a 
"safe haven" in Northern Iraq by the Allied Forces, the Kurds in Iraqi 
Kurdistan have elected a parliament, unified the army, and established a 
shared presidency. And while the Kurds have officially declared Kurdistan 
a part of a larger federated Iraq rather than an independent state, Iraqi 
Kurdistan remains the center of the Iraqi opposition and a politically 

24 THE INDEPENDENT 



autonomous zone. In this critical period of self-government, television 
stations are playing an important role in defining and maintaining a Kurdish 
identity, an identity separate from the rest of Iraq. 

The Kurds have built up approximately 12 television stations from 
virtually nothing. Using second-hand VHS cameras, pairs of VHS players 
for editing decks, and a great deal of ingenuity, the Kurds are producing and 
broadcasting an impressive variety of programs, including local news 
hours, public health programs, cultural panels, and political satires. These 
in-station productions are complemented by a wide range of foreign films 
and children's programming translated into Kurdish. 

Kurdish news production, a creative montage of international broadcasts 
and local reports, is one example of how the Kurds are combining modern 
technology and meager resources. International news stories from Cable 
Network News, Britain's ITV, and the British Broadcasting Corporation 
are captured on satellite and translated into Kurdish. Images from these 

APRIL 1993 






larger networks are then mixed with Kurdish news reports written and read 
by local reporters. Most of these reporters are young Kurdish women from 
the larger, more liberal Kurdish cities, women who wear Western clothes 
and make-up. By featuring women newsreporters in a generally conserva- 
tive society, Kurdish television stations are making a bold statement about 
the future position of women in Kurdistan. Though Kurdish women are not 
obliged to wear veils, their conduct is strictly regulated by cultural codes. 
And though the scope of a woman's freedom varies greatly from household 
to household based on class, education, and family tradition, Kurdish 
women must always remain aware of their reputations. That Kurdish 
women are now represented and respected as professional women on 
Kurdish television must have a significant impact on how young women in 




Kurdistan view what is acceptable behavior and might have lasting impli- 
cations on what it means to be a Kurdish woman in Kurdish society. 

At the same time that Kurdish television takes the lead in representing 
changing roles in Kurdish society, it also looks to the past for inspiration. 
One of the most dynamic media forms on television is the Kurdish music 
video which integrates traditional Kurdish music and dances with views of 
the spectacular Kurdish landscape. While these videos show Kurds rejoic- 
ing at finally being free in their own land, they also include images of 
Kurdish peshmerga (guerrilla fighters, literally "those who face death") 
who fought in the mountains for a free Kurdistan. Behind Kurdish musi- 
cians, the faces of martyred peshmerga appear superimposed over the 
rugged mountain landscapes, reminding Kurdish viewers that the present 
tenuous state of independence in Kurdistan has only 
been achieved through the sacrifices these men made 
in the past. 

The most popular programs at present, however, 
are the comedy shows that critique the difficult 
situation in Kurdistan today: Zoom Zoom and 
Kashcol. These shows grapple with the everyday 
problems of contemporary Kurdistan: the economic 
embargoes imposed by the UN and Iraq, the black 
market, and the uneasy visits of Kurds who have 
been living in Europe orthe United States. Sherzad, 
one of the comedians in Zoom Zoom, says he gets 
many of the ideas forthe skits from his audience. "At 
the beginning, the first three shows, we tried to 
prepare the programs. But later,... people started send- 
ing their problems to us, and we began depending on 
the problems of the people." In one skit, a Kurd 
living in Sweden returns to his hometown in Kurdis- 
tan. Carrying an expensive new camera, sporting 
Western hiking shorts and long blond hair, and 
taking pictures of tree limbs, he acts as if he has been 
dropped on some exotic planet for the first time. 
Approached by a close relative, he pretends he does 
not recognize him, can no longer speak Kurdish, and 
does not want to be bothered by family obligations. 
After some initial bantering, his cousin removes his 
blond wig, forces him to defend himself in Kurdish, 
and reminds him that he is still a Kurd. As many 
young Kurds go to Europe to study and few return to 
Kurdistan, the "European Kurd" is a recognized 
issue within Kurdish society. By voicing a common 
frustration on television, the community admits a 



* As Saddam Hussein is still in power in Iraq, only first 
names will be used in this article to protect the identities of 
those people interviewed. 



A moss grave in a former Iraqi military 
base outside of Sulaimania. 

Photos pp. 24-28 courtesy Susan Meiselas/Magnum 
Photos, ©1992 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 25 




problem while laughing at it at the same time. 

Similarly, Zoom Zoom features a skit about Saddam Hussein every week. 
As long as Hussein is still alive and well in Baghdad, these comedies allow 
people to laugh at what remains a real threat while controlling how that 
threat is represented. Saddam is shown in forward and backward motion so 
that he appears to be performing a Kurdish dance in one skit, synchronized 
swimming routines in another. As Sherzad proudly boasts of Zoom Zoom, 
"Everyone is watching it, especially the Kurdish government. And when we 
show it, the next day there will be a copy seen in Baghdad also." With the 
Iraqi army performing maneuvers only five miles from the television station 
in Arbil, even producing a comedy show becomes an act of grave risk in 
Iraqi Kurdistan. 

The subversive use of video, however, is not new to the Iraqi Kurds. 
Saddam Hussein was always aware of the power of images, and under his 
Baath party regime the television was Hussein's official forum. Even in 
remote villages, Hussein gave television sets as gifts or made them available 
at very low prices so that he might broadcast his policies throughout Iraq and 
Iraqi Kurdistan. In villages throughout Kurdistan, the peshmerga used 
alternative screenings to challenge Hussein's claim to represent what was 
happening in Kurdistan. Abas, the head cameraman for one of the two 
largest political parties in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 
(PUK), and currently the director of the main PUK television station in 
Sulaimaniya, was a cameraman in the mountains throughout the 1980s. 
During the guerrilla war against the Baath regime, he travelled with the 
peshmerga to document the fighting and took the videos to the small villages 
to show the local villagers. There, with captured generators running the 
televisions, the peshmerga screened the videos in mosques or village 
gardens so the whole village could gather to watch. In this way, the PUK 
used video as a tool to gain the trust of the villagers so that they would 



believe the peshmerga over the government and aid them in their war 
against the Iraqi army. 

These videos were also used as powerful evidence of the atrocities of the 
Hussein regime, evidence which was broadcast throughout the world. After 
Iraq's gas attack of Halabja in 1988 (which Saddam Hussein vehemently 
denied), Abas videotaped the city and smuggled the videotapes to Europe. 
These tapes were widely broadcast on European news stations and consti- 
tute a large portion of Gwynne Robert's BBC film Winds of Death. It was 
because of these videotapes and similar images made by journalists that 
international attention was first brought to the Kurdish situation, and the 
illegal actions of the Iraqi regime were finally admitted by the international 
community. 

Ironically, Hussein also made images of his own crimes. Among the 13 
tons of Iraqi intelligence documents captured by the PUK in Iraqi Kurdistan, 
the PUK found a number of Iraqi military videotapes. These tapes system- 
atically document the torture and execution of the Kurds. Hussein, too, 
valued the image as document, but he intended to control the circulation of 
those images. Now that these videotapes are in the hands of the PUK and 
international human rights organizations, they will have a different use. 
They will be used as evidence in a genocide case against the Hussein regime 
which Human Rights Watch is preparing to bring before the International 
Court of Justice in the Hague. 

While it is the Kurds and not the Baath regime who now control the 
images that circulate within Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurds do not have control 
over the images seen by the rest of the world. And while the Kurds are 
generating representations of themselves for themselves, they have little 
input as to how they are represented by the West. Since events in Kurdistan 
have not been covered by most of the news services in recent months, due 
to crises in other parts of the world, the Kurds hope that they will soon be 



26 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 




Human rights officials and a Kurdish 
teacher released from Iraqi prison watch 
a video of his torture, filmed by the Iraqi 
military. 



able to send out the footage they are making in Kurdistan to Western news 
services so that their situation will continue to receive international atten- 
tion. The Kurds have received some training in newsreporting and have 
been able to purchase minimal equipment from outside sources. ' What 
remains to be seen is whether this footage will be accepted by international 
news organizations as objective reportage or whether it will be considered 
propaganda for the Kurdish cause and rejected. 

After living under the totalitarian regime of Saddam Hussein, it is 



'The media centers still need editing decks, mixing equipment, and other technological 
support. Equipment donations or monetary support may be sent to Kurdistan via the 
Kurdish representative in Washington c/o Barham Salih, 4112 Wynwood Dr.. 
Annandale. VA 22003. 




A defaced mural of Saddam Hussein on the wall of a military base 
where Kurdish refugees now live. 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 17 



Having built their TV stations from 

virtually nothing, the Kurds mix and edit 

all programming on VHS decks like this 

one at the PUK TV in Sulaimania. 



difficult for many Kurds to believe that there is hope for this small federation 
to survive. And while there is an operating parliament in Kurdistan, jobs are 
scarce due to the heavy economic embargo and the precarious political 
situation. To see the Kurdish Parliament on television, to hear Kurdish used 
as the official language, and to watch the news presented by Kurds helps 
Kurdish viewers to believe that Kurdistan is real. Everyday the Kurdistan 
that many people only dreamed about is being represented, contested, and 
created before and by a Kurdish audience. 

This article grew out of research for In the Shadow of History: Kurdistan, 
a pictorial history of the Kurds to be published by Random House in 1994. 
Susan Meiselas, a Mac Arthur fellow who has spent a decade photographing 
in Latin America, is the book's project director and Laura Davidson, a 
writer living in New York City, is collaborating on the researchfor the book. 




The situation in Kurdistan today has its parallel in the 1 920s, when 
the Kurds were promised independence in the Treaty of Sevres. 
Then, as today, Kurdish photographers considered it important to 
represent their leaders and culture. This photograph of Sheik 
Mahmud, the Kurdish leader who fought for independence in the 
1 920s, was taken by a local Kurdish photographer. 

Courtesy Studio Rafiq, Sulaimania 




28 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



Technology in 
Transition 



From video dial tone to DBS — 
where do independents fit in? 



JEFFREY CHESTER AND KATHRYN MONTGOMERY 



I HE AMERICAN MEDIA SYSTEM IS IN THE MIDST OF TUMULTUOUS CHANGE. 
New communications technologies, from fiber optics to video compression 
to high definition TV, are dramatically altering the traditional forms of 
production, distribution, and reception. The convergence of video, voice, 
data, and text will produce an entirely new "multimedia" system, with 
hundreds of interactive channels coming into the home through a single 
wire. 

This technological innovation has triggered a power struggle of unprece- 
dented proportions. The country 's giant communications industries (broad- 
casting, cable, telephone, and newspaper) are locked in battle over which 
will control telecommunications in the 21st century. They have unleashed 
an arsenal of political weapons to influence policymakers and lay their 
respective claims on the future communications infrastructure. 

While the full transformation of American media may take well over a 
decade, government policies are rapidly moving forward to set rules in place 
for control, access, and use of the next telecommunications delivery system. 
For example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took the 
following actions only in the last year: 

• created a comprehensive "Video Dialtone" policy to allow telephone 
companies (telcos) to enter the television business; 

• allowed mergers between broadcast networks and cable companies; 

• approved a plan to give every existing TV station a separate channel for 
broadcasting in high definition television (HDTV). 

Ironically, even as public battles are waged in the press and in Congress, 
there is an underlying movement toward further consolidation both within 
and among the communications industries. Some of the largest cable, 
telephone, newspaper, computer, and broadcast companies have already 
begun launching a series of joint ventures and strategic alliances. Experts 



This article is excerpted from "Media in Transition: Independents and the 
Future of Television," a report published by National Video Resources in 
November 1992. The report includes additional information on cable and 
public television, a resource list, and specific recommendations for action 
that independents can take to affect telecommunications policy. Copies of 
the ful I report are available from : NVR , 73 Spring St, New York, NY 10012. 

APRIL 1993 



predict that these alliances will 
resolve the current conflicts 
among competing industries in a 
few years. 

These developments will have 
a significant impact on the future 
of independent video and film- 
making. Depending on the out- 
come, independents would either have new opportunities for access and 
funding or find themselves pushed further to the edges of the electronic 
media system. 

Promise A Threat 

If the right choices are made within the next few years, we could see a 
significant improvement in our media system. The combination of ex- 
panded channels, affordable production, and interactive capability could: 

• create an infrastructure for vital community services 

• provide new outlets for cultural expression 

• stimulate local and national economic development 

• open the media to a wider range of voices 

• offer citizens new opportunities for participating in government. 
However, if we turn our backs and allow the media industries to control the 
debate, we are likely to see: 

• prohibitive access charges that will make it extremely difficult for 
nonprofits and small independent producers to gain entry to the system 

• programming menus in which independent offerings are easily buried 
beneath more visible and prominent commercial video services 

• a sharp reduction in government funding for independents, as most of 
the public funds funneled through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
and Public Broadcasting Service are diverted to educational services 

• high monthly fees that will make essential services and information 
unaffordable to a large proportion of Americans. 

In addition, we will lose certain fundamental features of our current 
media system, which we now take for granted: 

• Free over-the-air broadcast television will most likely disappear as 
cable and fiber optic systems become the primary means of distribution. 
Although certain basic services may be available for a flat monthly fee, most 
programming in the future, including news, sports, public affairs and 
documentaries, may be offered only as pay-per-view or even pay-per- 
minute. 

• Public, educational, and governmental access channels and other 
local services on cable television could vanish as phone companies replace 
cable companies. Phone companies are not required to go through the 
franchising process to begin operations. 

• Public television could be drastically cut back or even eliminated. 
Current political developments do not bode well for publicly supported 
media. Right-wing groups have launched an attack on public television, 
arguing that it misuses tax dollars and is no longer necessary because of 
program duplication on cable channels. 

The current stalemate among the major corporate interests has created a 

THE INDEPENDENT 29 



unique opportunity — a narrow "window of necessity" — to assert the public 
interest, reframe the debate in terms of democratic and social consequences, 
and involve legislators and the public in deciding the key questions of public 
policy. This short-lived opportunity will last no longer than five years. If 
independents act now, they could play a key role in that process. The 
independent community must join with other nonprofit and public interest 
groups to create a broad-based movement that promotes a new public 
interest vision for telecommunications in the 21st century. 

Fiber Optics: The 

Superhighway of the 21st Century 

Experts predict that fiber technology will become the communications 
"superhighway of the 21st century," supplanting both cable and over-the- 
air broadcasting as the primary conduit not only for video, but also for voice, 
data, and graphics. Composed of hair-size strands of glass that use light to 
transmit information, fiber has a much greater transmission capacity than 
either copper or coaxial cable and permits interac- 
tive two-way communications. 

Communications industry analysts see fiber op- 
tic technology as a way to create a cornucopia of 
new market ventures that could dramatically change 
the way people watch television. Through video on 
demand, consumers could order individual pro- 
grams, selecting them from electronic menus. The 
concept of network programming schedules would 
become outdated and the home video rental indus- 
try would disappear. 

Because of the costs, it will probably be many 
years before every U.S. household is connected to 
a nationwide system of seamless, interactive fiber 
optic networks. In the meantime, a number of tele- 
phone and cable companies have already begun to 
replace parts of their systems with fiber optic tech- 
nology. 

Policy Developments 

Policy proposals for accelerated deployment of fiber optic technology are 
under consideration at the FCC, at the White House, and in Congress, 
pushed by the Regional Bell Operating Companies, also called RBOCs or 
Baby Bells. They are joined in their current efforts by other local phone 
service providers, which were not part of the original Bell System. Until 
recently, these companies were barred from del i vering information or video 
services in areas where they provided telephone services. In 1991, after 
years of legal challenges, the courts lifted the restrictions on information 
delivery. However, the 1984 Cable Act still does not permit a telephone 
company to "provide video programming directly to subscribers in its 
telephone service area." 

The phone companies have launched a massive lobbying and public- 
relations campaign to remove all remaining restrictions against entry into 
the television business. Their ultimate goal is to become the nation's 




primary electronic communications delivery system. The telephone compa- 
nies are asking policymakers not only to repeal the restrictive provisions of 
the Cable Act, but also to give them special financial incentives in exchange 
for building a nationwide fiber-optic system within the next two decades. 
The cable and newspaper industries, as well as AT&T, MCI, and other 
long-distance carriers, oppose telco entry and are seeking federal legislation 
to reverse the most recent court decisions. The newspaper industry fears that 
phone company plans to offer classified advertising and electronic Yellow 
Pages could force many papers out of business. 

The fight over this issue is one of the biggest and most expensive 
lobbying battles in many years. Except for some interventions by Consumer 
Federation of America (primarily around telephone rate issues), the major 
communications industries have dominated the process. The current pro- 
posals to permit phone companies to build fiber optic delivery systems are 
based on a common carrier model. Common carrier means that anyone who 
wants to use the communications system may do so on a first-come, first- 
serve basis; the company that owns the distribution facilities is not permitted 
to control the content. Telephone service is common carrier, broadcast and 
cable are not. A television system based on a 
common carrier model would be potentially more 
open and diverse than the present TV delivery 
system. Program providers would be able to dis- 
tribute their programming without having to appeal 
to the media gatekeepers at broadcast or cable 
companies. 

While the telephone companies support the con- 
cept of a common carrier-based fiber optic net- 
work, they are also pushing for policies that would 
allow them to produce and distribute their own 
programming, an issue that has generated consider- 
able controversy. Phone companies argue that they 
need revenue from programming as an incentive to 
build the fiber networks and to help defray the costs 
of construction. Those opposed argue that control 
of both "conduit and content" could give the tele- 
phone companies unprecedented and dangerous 
powers. There is particular concern that the tele- 
phone companies, as the managers of the network, could favor their own 
programming ventures by cross-subsidizing production costs with profits 
from local telephone services. 

Legislative Initiatives 

In June 1 99 1 , Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) and then-Senator Albert Gore 
(D-TN) cosponsored the Communications Competitiveness and Infrastruc- 
ture Modernization Act of 1991 (S.1200). A new version of the bill will be 
introduced this year. The original legislation requires the construction of a 
nationwide broadband fiberoptic network by 201 5. The bill would also give 
telephone companies the right to program one-fourth of all the channels. 
The remaining channels would be available to other program providers. The 
Bush Administration strongly endorsed this legislation. President Clinton is 
also supportive of building a fiber optic network to everyone's home by 
2015 [see sidebar page 32]. 



30 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



Video Dialtone 

In the meantime, the FCC has moved forward with its own plan for 
telephone company entry into television. In July 1992, the commission 
approved a new video dialtone policy that allows telephone companies to 
deliver video programming in their own service areas. Because the decision 
does not permit phone companies to program these new networks, the 
commission maintains that the new policy does not conflict with the 
restrictions of the Cable Act. 

With video dialtone, telephone companies would continue to function as 
common carriers, linking viewers to various programming and service 
providers. These programmers would pay a set fee to the phone companies 
but would establish their own charges to view- 



Using video gateways or electronic menus, 
viewers would select what they wanted to see 
and be charged accordingly. The rates for each 
service or program would vary. Some would be 
pay-per-view, some would be available at 
monthly rates, and some would be advertiser- 
supported with no additional cost to viewers. It 
is also likely that charges for watching TV 
programs could be similar to those for long 
distance telephone service. As Daily Variety 
explained about the future of video dialtone 
service: "Viewers wishing to watch the Para- 
mount Network could tap into the channel and 
be billed on a per-minute basis." 

The FCC plan calls for two levels of service. 
The first would list all programs and services in 
the menu, similar to listings in the white pages of 
the phone book. The second, which would cost 
more, would allow consumers access to more 
powerful computer-assisted services. For a regu- 
lated fee, all programmers would be given ac- 
cess to the first level, which would function as a 
common carrier. Access to the second level, however, would be determined 
by the marketplace and costs would be significantly higher. 

The FCC has agreed to let telephone companies participate in a very 
limited way in programming ventures. The video dialtone ruling allows 
them to purchase up to 5 percent of video programming companies, such as 
Hollywood studios and cable networks. Phone companies will also be 
permitted to provide financial assistance to programmers in the form of 
loans, as long as they do not acquire controlling interest in those companies. 
In addition, phone companies can now jointly build and share network 
facilities with cable operators. 

Because they are common carriers, the phone companies will not be 
required to secure franchises from local municipalities or pay franchise fees 
as cable systems must. This decision, made by the FCC last fall, has 
generated considerable criticism from the cable industry, public access 
producers, and local governments. Both the National Cable Television 
Association (NCTA) and the National Association of Telecommunications 
Officers and Advisers (NATOA) have appealed the ruling. 

Additional appeals are expected to be filed to challenge the July video 



The communications 
system is at a 

crossroads. 

Decisions made 

during the next few 

years v/ill determine 

the shape of 
telecommunications 
in the 21st century. 



dialtone ruling. The final decision about telephone company entry into the 
television business will ultimately be made in the courts and in Congress. 

Issues 

The developments surrounding fiber optics and telco entry raise a number 
of issues of vital interest to independents, nonprofits, and consumers: 

• Media Consolidation. One of the commission's key arguments in 
support of video dialtone is that phone companies will provide effective 
competition to the monopolistic cable industry. However, given the eco- 
nomics of wire delivery systems, it is unlikely that two companies will be 

able to operate successfully in the same commu- 
nity. If the telephone companies succeed in 
convincing Congress to authorize the construc- 
tion of a national fiber network, this new net- 
work could ultimately supplant cable. Through 
joint ventures and other cooperative arrange- 
ments, cable and phone companies will develop 
partnerships for the production and delivery of 
video programming. This trend toward further 
consolidation could eventually create new mo- 
nopoly providers of TV services. 

• Access. An advanced fiber network may 
have the capacity to deliver 500 or more chan- 
nels to the home, a sharp contrast to the limited 
channel capacity of broadcast and even cable 
TV. This could create new opportunities for 
independents to distribute their work. But the 
terms of access to the system could still be 
prohibitive. For example, under the video 
dialtone proposal, access to the first level would 
be available to all service providers on a nondis- 
criminatory basis. But tariffs that are easily paid 
by commercial service providers could be 
unaffordable for nonprofits and independent 

producers. One possible remedy would be to establish special nonprofit 

tariffs significantly lower than those charged commercial programmers. 

This policy would be analogous to the tax benefits and lower postage rates 

established for nonprofits. 

• Community Services. Since the FCC has eliminated the franchise 
requirements for telephone companies delivering information and video 
services, these companies would not be obliged to provide public, educa- 
tional, or governmental access services to the communities they serve. 

• Visibility. Independents might also find it difficult to gain attention 
among the cacophony of voices on the fibernetwork. Even if all services are 
listed in the white pages of the electronic menu, the cost of entry to the more 
sophisticated yellow pages could be prohibitive. These menus may also 
highlight the well-financed, highly-promoted commercial fare created by 
the major programming producers. 

• Cost. Because fiber-optic systems may deliver not only television 
programming but also telephone, newspaper, magazine, and data services, 
they could become the only link to essential information — and the costs 
could be prohibitive for many. 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 31 



Complete transition to a fiber optic-based communications system will 
probably not occur for decades. Several new video technologies will have 
a more immediate impact on television production, distribution, and recep- 
tion. 

High Definition Television 

High Definition Television (HDTV) technology dramatically enhances 
television picture quality by increasing the number of lines of information 
that make up the picture on a TV screen. Currently, the U.S. broadcasting 
system is based on the NTSC standard of 525 lines of information, 
substantially fewer than most foreign systems and far below the number 
used for high definition. Through the use of digital transmission, HDTV 
systems will make it possible to converge data and video and will signifi- 
cantly improve sound quality. HDTV will eventually become the standard 
for all TV transmission: over-the-air, cable, direct broadcast satellites 



(DBS), and fiber optic. 

Currently, five different systems are competing for the U.S. HDTV 
standard. Once tests are completed, results will be sent to an FCC advisory 
committee, which will make a final decision in 1993. 

The FCC has recently begun a series of decisions about allocation of 
HDTV frequencies. Under its new plan, all broadcasters will have five 
years, beginning in 1993, to apply for and build an HDTV station. The FCC 
argues that giving these channels to broadcasters, instead of making them 
available to new entrants, will allow for a smooth transition to the HDTV 
system. The FCC originally proposed that TV stations simulcast programs 
over both the existing and the new signal until 2008, when the system is 
completely converted to HDTV. 

However, broadcasters lobbied for more flexibility in programming 
these new channels during the transition period. The commission has 
tentatively ruled to allow broadcasters four years after going on the air with 
HDTV before they have to begin simulcasting. Many broadcasters see this 



It's the I nira structure... Stupid 



Investment in "infrastructure" is the linchpin of the new Clinton 
administration's plan to rebuild the U.S. economy. As part of this plan, the 
White House has placed the construction of high-technology "communi- 
cations superhighways" at the top of its agenda. Investing in telecommu- 
nications, President Clinton argues, will create new jobs, keep America 
competitive, and provide "information age" advances to such areas as 
health care and education. 

This emphasis on infrastructure has placed telecommunications policy 
on a fast track. While movement on this issue continues in Congress and 
at the FCC. the White House is expected to play an unprecedented 
leadership role in promoting the development of a comprehensive policy. 
The administration may create a high level commission on communica- 
tions infrastructure. Many experts predict that Vice President Gore will 
play a leading role in developing administration policy in this area, given 
his long-time interest in communications issues. In addition to his work on 
cable reregulation, Gore has been one of the leading supporters of the 
national policy for publicy-supported supercomputing networks (better 
known as the National Research and Education Network, or NREN.) 

While no coherent national policy for telecommunications has yet been 
developed, the Clinton administration is expected to be very supportive of 
policies designed to accelerate the construction of broadband fiber optic 
telecommunications networks. The President's economic stimulus pro- 
gram includes a call for government partnerships with the private sector — 
a position private industry supports. 

The electronic media, information, and computer industries have all 
been heavily lobbying the new administration and Congress with their 
own proposals for ways in which the federal government can help them 
develop electronic superhighways and local fiber networks. For example, 
the Computer Systems Policy Project — an organization composed of the 
chief executive officers of 1 3 large computer companies — called on the 
Clinton administration to make "the creation of a national information 
infrastructure" a national priority. In a recent press statement, the group's 



chair, John Sculley of Apple Computer, predicted that "the development 
of an information infrastructure will raise the standard of living for all 
Americans and enable our country to prosper in a competitive global 
economy." 

The group urged the federal government to pay for the development of 
demonstration projects designed to help the various industries construct 
networks and develop applications. The telephone and cable industries 
have also expressed a strong interest in receiving federal support for a 
variety of efforts — from deploying fiber networks to developing educa- 
tional programming. 

All these industries have launched major public relations efforts 
promising that telecommunications technologies will usher in a new age 
where Americans have greater choice, personal autonomy, and unlimited 
access to information. At the same time as they are heralding new public 
benefits, however, the communications industries are also working to 
eliminate public interest regulatory obligations. Last fall, Time Warner 
filed a lawsuit asking that major portions of both the 1984 and 1992 law 
regulating the cable industry be declared unconstitutional. If the suit is 
successful, it could have a far-reaching impact — eliminating access 
channels, rate regulations, and must-carry requirements. 

There are openings for input from the public interest community on 
infrastructure proposals and related issues, such as the reservation of 
channel capacity for nonprofits, special rates for nonprofit program 
suppliers, and ongoing mechanisms to support public telecommunica- 
tions services. The Clinton administration has gone on record as support- 
ing the role of nonprofits in policymaking. 

The election of Bill Clinton opens the door for more public- spirited 
policymaking about the future of the electronic media. But it will be up to 
the public — including the independent community — to ensure that the 
telecommunications infrastructure for the next century is more open and 
democratic than the present one. 

JC&KM 



32 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



as an opportunity to create separate programming on these channels 
targeted to more upscale audiences, which would generate considerable 
advertising revenue. 

Some policy experts and critics have attacked the FCC's decisions on 
HDTV, accusing the agency of a giveaway, since these channels would be 
awarded free, with no evaluation of past performance and no competitive 
bidding. 

Issues 

Although many of the crucial allocation decisions appear to have been made 
already, the controversy over HDTV channel awards may permit the 
independent community to intervene. Independents may want to file com- 
ments of theirown with the FCC and work with Congress on ways to involve 
them more directly in future decisions on HDTV. 

If the FCC puts its current plans into effect, most public TV stations will 
be assigned additional channels for HDTV transmission. It may be possible 
to negotiate with these stations to develop new programming initiatives 
involving independents. There may also be opportunities to create a variety 
of new services, including experimental programs, community informa- 
tion, and other programming not currently available on public TV. 

Public television might be open to working with independents, particu- 
larly if such an alliance could help them receive federal funding to build 
HDTV facilities. For example, public television may need to seek financial 
support from Congress or from the NTIA's Public Telecommunications 
Facilities Program (PTFP), a federal program that provides grants for public 
TV and radio equipment. Independents could play a key role in building 
support for these requests. 

Di red Broadcast Satellites 

Direct broadcast satellites (DBS) have been on the drawing boards formore 
than a decade, but only now appear to have reached the point of full 
implementation. Small receivers, able to pick up signals from a new 
generation of high-powered satellites, may soon be available at reasonable 
prices, making this service a potential competitor to cable TV. 

Several DBS services are scheduled to begin within the next few years. 
Minnesota-based Hubbard Broadcasting, in cooperation with Hughes Com- 
munications, will launch a satellite in December 1993; service will begin in 
early 1994. Customers will pay about S700 to purchase the equipment plus 
a monthly fee to receive a basic package of channels. Additional fees will 
be charged for pay channels and pay-per-view programs. 

Hughes' DIRECTv will offer its own package of sports, concerts, and 
movies. Special pay-per-view software is being developed to enable con- 
sumers to purchase selections conveniently. A new DBS company called 
SkyPix has announced plans to launch its 80-channel service sometime in 
1993; it will offer many different movie titles each day, positioning itself as 
an alternative to video stores. 

Meanwhile, the nation's largest cable companies have developed their 
own DBS service. Primestar, already operative, is a joint venture of such 
heavyweights as General Electric, Time Warner, Cox, Telecommunica- 
tions, Inc., Viacom, and Continental Cable. 



Noncommercial DBS 

Public television lobbyists have been successful at getting language into 
cable legislation that requires allocation of some DBS channels for noncom- 
mercial programming and services. The 1992 Cable Act says that each DBS 
service must set aside "'not less than four percent nor more than seven 
percent" of its video channel capacity for "noncommercial public use." 
However, DBS set-aside requirements may not mean automatic access for 
independents. It is essential that independents participate in the current FCC 
rulemaking to implement the law. 

As part of its current effort to move more fully into the education market, 
PBS is planning to begin a new DBS service in late 1 993, with the launching 
of AT&T's Telstar401. Through compression technology (which reduces 
the size of the video signal during transmission), PBS officials say they can 
squeeze enough additional channels out of the system's six transponders to 
enable the service to carry up to 50 channels of programming, 24 hours a 
day. PBS plans a test involving 15 public television stations that will allow 
teachers to receive reference materials and interactive training, and will 
create a nationwide electronic mail network. The new satellite service may 
also include special channels dedicated to subjects such as math, science, 
and adult education. 

Issues 

DBS could create new opportunities for independents, particularly since 
Congress approved proposals for noncommercial channel allocations. 
However, these "set-aside" requirements may not mean automatic access 
for independents. 

There may be some new opportunities for independents in commercial 
DBS. DBS owners claim that, unlike cable and broadcast TV, their systems 
can make a profit by narrowcasting to smaller audiences. This could mean 
that a pay-per-view service for independent programming would succeed if 
several thousand DBS users pay reasonable fees for such programming. 
Organizations representing independents might consider approaching such 
companies as Hughes Communications, Hubbard Communications, or 
Telecommunications, Inc. (TCI) to develop a distribution arrangement for 
specialized programming services such as documentaries, lesser known 
foreign films, or minority programming. 

Two-WayTV 

In January 1992, the FCC approved a new policy that set the stage for the 
development of an over-the-air form of two-way television, known as 
Interactive Video and Data Services (IVDS) or viewer-response TV. The 
commission recently set aside a portion of the radio spectrum for IVDS use. 

TV Answer, the company promoting IVDS, has developed an elaborate 
marketing plan that would use IVDS primarily as a high-tech sales tool, 
designed to elicit instant responses from viewers using a gun-like device 
pointed at their television screens. These devices will transmit the viewer's 
credit card number automatically. The cost; approximately $700 each. 

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting urged the FCC to reserve a 
portion of the IVDS spectrum allocation "for the providers of noncommer- 
cial public service to reach out to the nation' s communities with diverse and 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 33 



dynamic new forms of noncommercial public service communications." 
However, the FCC refused the request, calling instead on commercial I VDS 
companies to voluntarily give access to educational service providers. 

Issues 

IVDS is only one of the first of the new generation of interactive commu- 
nications technologies that will be put in place over the next two decades. 
It is critically important that these technologies do not serve solely as selling 
devices. Independents could play a key role in identifying innovative 
noncommercial uses for interactive television. 



Cable's Expanding 
Channel Capacity 

In just over a decade, cable television has become the 
dominant provider of television programming in the 
U.S. More than 60 percent of TV viewing homes 
subscribe to cable television. Once a sleepy mom-and- 
pop business for improving broadcast TV reception, 
cable has mushroomed into a $20-billion-a-year in- 
dustry that feeds dozens of channels to the American 
public. 

The cable industry has been working on ways to 
increase the number of channels on its systems. A 
combination of compression and fiber optics will 
enable cable systems to expand their capacity from a 
few dozen to several hundred channels. 



Courtesy AT&T 



Some of the largest cable companies are already 
test marketing new uses for mega-channel services. The cable industry is 
particularly eager to expand its systems as a strategy to preempt telephone 
company entry into the TV business. The industry plans to dedicate most of 
its expanded channel capacity to: 

• Pay-per-view programming, which will become the cable television 
industry's biggest new moneymaker. The cable industry hopes to transform 
cable systems into "electronic video stores" that run the most popular 
Hollywood films over and over on scores of channels. New pay-per-view 
channels will also be created for special-interest programming. 

• Barker channels to promote this pay-per-view programming by con- 
tinuously running movie trailers and order information. The number of 
barker channels will significantly expand as pay-per-view channels prolif- 
erate. 

• Multiplexing, a term borrowed from the theatrical film distribution 
business, refers to the practice of assigning multiple channels to existing 
cable networks. Forexample, HBO will be multiplexed by running the same 
movies at different times on two or three different channels. 

In December 1991, Time Warner unveiled a 150-channel system that 
uses a fiber optic trunkline in a section of Queens, New York. As "the 
world's first 150-channel, 2-way interactive system," the Queens experi- 
ment is being widely promoted as a liberating new service that will "move 
the viewer from being a slave to television to being its master." 

An upgrade from 75 channels, the Time Warner system is a prototype for 
future developments in the cable industry. As Variety reported, "The 



Queens system will serve as a laboratory where Time Warner will experi- 
ment with the best way to schedule pay-per-view movies and events to 
harvest the biggest bumper crop of subscriber dollars." Included in the mix 
of services will be between 50 and 60 pay-per-view movie channels, seven 
barker channels, and multiplexed HBO and Cinemax channels (both owned 
by Time Warner). 

In a suburb of Denver, Colorado, TCI has joined forces with both AT&T 
and US West (one of the Baby Bells) to test market an interactive fiber and 
cable service called Viewer Controlled Cable Television. Movie studios 
and the A.C. Nielsen Company are also involved in the trial, which will 
feature a 1,000-title film library as part of the 
movie-on-demand experiment. 

The Denver trial is part of an emerging trend 
toward strategic alliances among otherwise com- 
peting industries. While the cable industry con- 
tinues its feverish opposition in Washington to 
telco entry, a number of cable companies are 
entering into various kinds of partnerships with 
telephone companies, and with newspapers and 
movie studios. These arrangements are proving 
particularly advantageous for developing and 
marketing various hybrid technologies for video 
delivery. 

Broadcasters have also been heavily involved 
in these inter-industry arrangements. Forexample, 
Capital Cities/ABC and Paramount Pictures re- 
cently announced a joint venture to create and 
distribute pay-per-view programming, which may 
include specially-made theatrical films. Both Cap 
Cities and GE/NBC have plans to move into the cable industry, aided by a 
FCC ruling in June 1 992 that changed the rules to allow cable and broadcast 
network mergers. 

«!►,.£ «$» 

The communications system is at a crossroads. Decisions made during the 
next few years will determine the shape of telecommunications in the 21st 
century. Fifteen years ago, the public interest community failed to take 
effective political action to develop a comprehensive national policy when 
the cable revolution was underway. Consequently, the community lost the 
opportunity to shape a new television system that would significantly 
enhance cultural, educational, and political expression. 

Today, the stakes are much higher. The choices made in the next few 
years will determine not only the future of television, but also the future of 
our entire print, broadcast, and computer communications system. Unless 
we formulate and advance a public interest vision, we will repeat the 
mistakes made in the past, with even more devastating consequences. 

Jeffrey Chester and Kathryn C. Montgomery, Ph.D., are coclirectors of the 
Center for Media Education, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit public 
interest organization that promotes the democratic potential of electronic 
media. The center educates the public about critical media issues, develops 
and promotes public interest media policies, and encourges widespread 
debate in the press about these issues. 




34 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



FIELD REPORTS 



LONDON KILLS ME 

The London Film Festival 



ELLIN STEIN 



From its humble beginnings in 1956 with a mere 
15 films, the London Film Festival has grown to 
be Europe's largest noncompetitive festival, 
sprawling over 17 days at 1 1 different venues. 
Along the lines of Toronto's Festival of Festivals, 
it is oriented towards "giving the London audi- 
ence a chance to see the best of that year before it 



rope, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iran. Is- 
rael, and all the EC countries besides France and 
Italy, and this year dominated by the Kaurismaki 
brothers. Finland's answer to the Coens). There is 
a video section, an animation section, restorations 
(which this year included a restored print of 
Visconti's The Leopard unmangled by bad dub- 
bing), Art & Experimental, U.S. independents, 
and, of course, British cinema. This was all in 
addition to public interviews with the likes of 
Alan Rudolph and Nicolas Cage, debates on the 




Stacy Cochran opted to attend the London Film 
Festival rather than the Los Angeles opening of 
her film My New Gun, starring James LeGros 
and Diane Lane. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



disappears," as festival director Sheila Whitaker 
puts it, rather than toward being an industry in- 
sider event where new stars are sighted and deals 
are struck. 

To make life easier for the would-be cineast, 
the festival divides its nearly 20 films into as- 
sorted categories. There are categories for films 
from Asia, Africa, Latin America, French films, 
Italian films, Internationa] Frame (a grab bag of 
everything else that isn't British or American, 
including films from Scandinavia, Eastern Eu- 



influence of television on cinema aesthetics, 26 
hours of the second edition of Edgar Reitz's 
Heimat, and a sold-out series of late-night horror 
films, including Sam Raimi'sThe Medieval Dead, 
Hellraiser II, and the remake of Night of the 
Living Dead. In keeping with its eclectic ap- 
proach, the festival also incorporated some highly 
commercial films such as Sister Act and This Is 
My Life before their highly commercial releases, 
although this category also included some films 
that might easily have gone into the U.S. indepen- 
dents category such as Reservoir Dogs (a big 
festival hit which later went straight into the 
number one slot on its UK release), Mistress, and 
The Water dance. 

The categorization, however, seems somewhat 
arbitrary. Susan Seidelman's Confessions of a 
Suburban Girl was included under British Cin- 



ema, although it is a documentary by an American 
director about growing up in the American sub- 
urbs, because it was commissioned by BBC Scot- 
land. The Last of His Tribe came under the U.S. 
independents heading despite having a British 
director (Harry Hook), presumably because it was 
produced by HBO. Other U.S. independent fea- 
tures ranged from the highly idiosyncratic and 
quirky (e.g., Alexandre Rockwell's In The Soup, 
Gregg Araki ' s The Living End) to nostalgia- tinged 
documentaries (e.g., Joshua Waletzky's film on 
Hollywood film score composer Bernard Her- 
mann, Robert Levi's portrait of Duke Ellington), 
Roots-themed documentaries (Tiana Thi Thanh 
Nga's From Hollywood to Hanoi and Marco 
Williams' In Search of Our Fathers), three short 
works from British fave rave Hal Hartley, noir 
(Carl Franklin's One False Move), joke noir (Joel 
Hershman's Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me) and not 
one but two features starring James LeGros with 
the word "gun" in the title (Stacy Cochran's My 
New Gun and Tamra Davis' Guncrazy). 

Contrary to what one might think, London is 
not the place to make a sale to British television, 
at least for narrative features. "The London Film 
Festival is mostly for the public," says Ryan 
Baxter, who acquires feature films for the BBC. 
"It's a valuable showcase but not for buyers, and 
the LFF doesn't pretend that it is. We prefer to 
meet filmmakers at other festivals because the 
LFF comes right as we're in the middle of prepar- 
ing our Christmas film schedule. Berlin is the real 
market where TV buyers go." 

Baxter or someone else from the BBC's acqui- 
sitions department cover Berlin, Cannes, the Ca- 
nadian festivals, the major film markets and, be- 
ginning this year, Sundance. "So by the time the 
LFF comes around we have seen a lot, and it's 
mostly things we already know about," he ex- 
plains. Nevertheless, he feels the LFF is a valuable 
showcase for U.S. filmmakers in that "it helps to 
build the public profile," while his colleague 
Lindsay Davis observes that "seeing how a British 
audience responds to the film gives momentum to 
a decision already reached." 

Likewise, Miranda Dear, Baxter's counterpart 
at Channel Four, thinks that "there are not many 
surprises. And you don't really meet filmmakers 
at the LFF because you're always having to dash 
back to the office." (Thus filmmakers who hope to 
meet with an acquisitions executive while in town 
for the festival should be sure to make contact in 
advance. Moreover, both the BBC and Channel 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 35 



Four acquisition departments are subdivided into 
several different fiefdoms, each with its own 
resident expert, so one should know into which 
domain one's film falls before spending a lot of 
energy wooing the wrong acquisition person.) 
Nevertheless, Dear finds the LFF useful for catch- 
ing up with films her colleague has already seen at 
Sundance and Toronto. Film Four's Jack Lechner, 
who is in production as opposed to acquisition, 
also finds the LFF valuable for catching up pur- 
poses, describing it as "the Utne Reader of film 
festivals." 

Stacy Cochran chose to attend the LFF rather 
than My New Gun's Los Angeles opening, despite 
little incentive from a business point of view (the 
U.K. broadcast rights had already been sold to 
Channel Four and she had a U.S. distributor, IRS 
Releasing, to hunt down a U.K. distributor). "If I 
could have gone to only one more festival after 
Cannes, it would be London," she says. "The 
festival couldn't have been run better. It was fun 
but not manic. Their advertising was good, the 
staff is as nice as can be, the screenings are in nice 
theaters, and the audience seems genuinely curi- 
ous and interested in movies." Not forgetting 
about business entirely, Cochran took the oppor- 
tunity to meet with several European producers 
and "express a personal interest in being part of 
the European film world. I'd love to make movies 
in Europe," she says. 

Barbara Trent also welcomed the chance to see 
her film with a British audience. Trent's The 
Panama Deception, made in association with 
Channel Four, examines the propaganda effort to 
minimize the effects of the U.S. "intervention" in 
Panama. "I was curious to know if people like Dan 
Rather translated as major media figures," she 
says. (Fortunately, she found U.S. anchormen 
"come across as dangerously misinforming even 
to foreign audiences.") In addition, Trent felt the 
film benefited from the screening because it en- 
abled her to make contact with audience members 
who offered to help spread the word about the 
film, essential to a grass roots-dependent effort 
like The Panama Deception. Like many other 
filmmakers, Trent emphasized how well the staff 
had treated her and how well-run she thought the 
festival was. She particularly liked the fact that 
there was a tent where filmmakers could "drink 
and eat, meet the press, and pick up mail." Besides 
a classy bar that served champagne (courtesy of 
Piper Heidsick, one of the festival 's sponsors), the 
spacious, attractive tent also offered video view- 
ing facilities where buyers and press who couldn ' t 
make it to a screening could catch up on what 
they'd missed. Therefore, the LFF staff strongly 
advises filmmakers to provide a video preview 
tape. 

For video and experimental work, the LFF 
offers exposure that would not otherwise be avail- 
able. "There's never really been the money in 
Britain to get the work over here," explains 
Cordelia Swann, who curated the Art & Experi- 
mental section, "so the festival's taking this kind 
of work under its wing has been especially impor- 




tant." For example, the LFF screened new works 
by Peter Hutton and Holly Fisher, both of whom 
have rarely shown in Britain (Fisher in particular 
proved to be a big hit). The experimental film- 
makers who come over "are treated like the fea- 
ture directors and invited to all the lunches and 
things," Swann says. "They're quite pleased about 
it." 

This year, for the first time, much of the experi- 
mental work was shown at the festival's main 
venue, the South Bank Centre (London's version 
of New York's Lincoln Center), rather than at the 
more obscure London Filmmakers Co-op. Video 
work has been at the South Bank site for two years. 
Besides granting an imprimatur of respectability, 
having this work at the heart of the festival en- 
courages a nonspecialist audience to attend. (At a 
screening of the Wooster Group's White Home- 
land Commando I sat next to actress Patricia 
Wettig — Nancy on thirtysomething — of all 
people.) Although video still seems to be the 
neglected stepchild in terms of publicity and gen- 
eral attention paid, the screenings were neverthe- 
less well attended and the programming strong. 
U.S. works shown included Bill Viola's The Pass- 
ing, Craig Baldwin's O No Coronado! and tapes 
by Jenny Holzer and Teddy Dibble. Newcomers 
are also welcome; one of the highlights was a very 
funny less-is-more tape by the wonderfully-named 
Damaged Californians. 

For the experimental section, Swann looks for 
films that are "exploring things that are not being 
explored here." This year she felt there was par- 
ticularly strong work about sexuality, especially 
by women. In programming the main part of the 
program, festival director Whitaker looks for "what 
a film is doing and how well it does it. Production 
values are irrelevant." The LFF welcomes sub- 
missions, but they also actively seek out films that 



they've seen at other festivals, read about, or 
learned about from word-of-mouth. Films and 
tapes have to be UK premieres. 

Whitaker believes the festival "should serve all 
kinds of different audiences." To this end, the 
festival has, for the past three years, had screen- 
ings not only at the highbrow National Film 
Theater, firmly identified in the public mind with 
"cinema" as opposed to movies, but also in large 
first-run theaters in London's West End. They 
have also established a ticket booth in the thick of 
things. Besides broadening the festival's audi- 
ence, Whitaker hopes the West End screenings 
will "help persuade exhibitors that these smaller 
movies can play in larger theaters, or a smaller 
theater in a multiplex." Film Four's Lechner, 
however, is less sanguine about the effect on 
exhibitors and distributors of a successful festival 
screening. "It doesn't make any difference if the 
audience loves it," he says, "because distributors 
are too pigheaded. Slacker was a big hit at the 
festival in 1 99 1 , and it still took a year for it to find 
a distributor." It's also hard to argue with the fact 
that the top box office films in the UK tend to be 
along the lines of Basic Instinct, Batman Returns, 
Patriot Games, Home Alone II — in other words, 
the usual suspects. 

Still, any independent who comes over here is 
bound to feel encouraged if only because indepen- 
dent and, to a lesser degree, experimental work is 
treated as though it matters in and of itself, not just 
as a stepping stone to bigger and more mainstream 
(if not better) things. The quality newspapers and 
London-oriented magazines give a lot of play to 
interesting movies, not just big ones, and a film 
like Gas, Food, and Lodging, Swoon, or Simple 
Men can have a run of six weeks or longer, 
sometimes even playing more than one theater 
simultaneously! 



36 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



The London Film Festival doesn't ignore 
video and experimental works, like the 
Wooster Group's White Homeland 
Commando. 

Photo: Paulo Court, courte$y the Wooster Group 



Most remarkably, there is a strong independent 
presence on television. Channel Four has bought 
documentaries including Atomic Cafe, Roger and 
Me, and Deep Dish's Hell No, We Won't Go (all 
unlikely candidates for primetime screenings on 
any of the U.S. commercial networks) and is 
planning an entire season of narrative features by 
U.S. independents, complete with introductory 
documentary. Although experimental video work 
is still underrepresented (though it must be added 
that the stylistic boundaries of regular television 
are considerably broader, so perhaps there is less 
need for it), Channel Four has shown works by 
Bill Viola and Marlon Riggs. Likewise, films 
such as Hollywood to Deadwood, Head and Sun- 
light, Common Threads, James Baldwin: The 
Price of the Ticket, and Let's Get Lost have been 
among the 900 English-language films the BBC 
programs annually. In the past, says Baxter, less 
than 10 percent of these have been by U.S. inde- 
pendents, although, he says encouragingly, 
"There's more of an interest now than in the past. 
As the mainstream films become more formula- 
based and commercial and expensive, our market 
for intelligent narrative films will increase. We 
can't afford the other kind on the one hand and 
don't want it on the other." 

But before the American independent scam- 
pers joyfully off to London, he or she should be 
aware that there's a bit of a backlash forming. 
"We're developing ajaundiced view of U.S. inde- 
pendents," says Rod Stoneman, who acquires 
experimental work for Channel Four. "The prob- 
lem isn't the quality of the work but the unashamed 
'What's in it forme?' attitude of the filmmakers." 
At the same time, Stoneman realizes this reflects 
a desperation born of the fact that "the U.S. 
independents are worse-funded than any place but 
Latin America." Still, he feels, "there should be 
more humility about it, a realization that no Euro- 
pean independents have access to any American 
money," — a point to keep in mind before we go 
running over to England with our begging bowls 
out, lest we resemble the French hippies panhan- 
dling in India. 

Nevertheless, the film- or videomaker who 
shows in the LFF can be sure of a well-organized 
screening, a strong publicity effort, a helpful atti- 
tude toward arranging interviews, and a welcome 
sense that the work is reaching audiences outside 
of the art ghetto. Save the hustle for Berlin, 
Sundance, or the markets, and come to London for 
the refreshing feeling of being respected as an 
artiste. 

Ellin Stein has written about media issues for the 
New York Times, the Village Voice, the Guardian 
(UK), and other publications. 



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FIELD REPOR 



FROM SOUP TO NUTS (AND BOLTS) 

The International Documentary Congress 



KAREN KRAMER 



More than 750 individuals attended the Interna- 
tiona] Documentary Congress, a first-time event, 
held in Los Angeles last October 21-23. The 
International Documentary' Association (IDA), 
which presented this three-day congress along 
with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and 
Sciences, went out of its way to bring in a wide 
range of panelists from 17 countries who were 



Rob Epstein (The Times ofHaney Milk), Renee 
Tajima (Who Killed Vincent Chin?), Trinh T. 
Minh-ha (Surname Viet. Given Name Nam) and 
many others took part. The event culminated in an 
awards dinner, in which a special Lifetime 
Achievement Award was presented to Walter 
Cronkite. 

The greatest strength of the Congress was the 
juxtaposition of panels giving concrete informa- 
tion alongside those that dealt with ethical and 
theoretical issues. Perhaps the most informative 
panel was that which opened the congress: Find- 




"Funding in the American Market" panelists (L-R): 
Denise Baddour (Discovery), Michael Cascio 
(A&E), Karen Fuglie (NEH), Donald Marbury (CPB), 
Mary Jane McKinven (PBS), John Moss (HBO), 
Vivian Schiller (TBS), John Schott (I7VS), and 
Andrea Taylor (Ford Foundation). 

Courtesy International Documentary Association 



diverse in gender, ethnicity, and aesthetic orienta- 
tion. 

The congress was a real who's who of the 
documentary field. Foreign documentarians ser- 
ving as panelists included Su Xiaokang (China), 
Jean Rouch (France), Marina Goldovskaya (Rus- 
sia), Masami Goto (Japan), Patricio Guzman 
(Chile), and Dennis O'Rourke (Australia). From 
the US , filmmakers such as Michael Moore (Roger 
& Me), Bill Miles and Nina Rosenblum (The 
Liberators), Jonathan Stack (Damned in the USA), 



ing Money in the American Marketplace. Nine 
funders from the major documentary TV show- 
cases and foundations gave nuts-and-bolts advice 
on how to submit proposals, what their funding 
levels are, what they look for, and more. 

Denise Baddour, who is with acquisitions at 
the Discovery and the Learning Channels, said 
they receive 2,000 proposals a year — all highly 
competitive. One reason why is that this 
organization's funding is on the high side, with 
top-end budgets for hour-long projects ranging 
from $400,000 to $600,000. Film/videomakers 
must submit their ideas in writing and sign a 
release letter, Baddour advised — a point echoed 
by the other panelists. The release letter — a bone 
of contention with many filmmakers — basically 
protects the Discovery Channel (but not the film- 
maker) in the event that the station was already 
considering the same idea. 

Arts & Entertainment's director of documen- 



tary production Mike Cascio also said the network 
needs to see something in writing ("not a phone 
call"), but noted a short treatment of one or two 
pages would suffice. The producer should also 
include biographical information and spell out 
why he or she would be the best person to make the 
film. "The single base factor of whether a docu- 
mentary gets on A&E is subject matter," Cascio 
stated. "There are three basic things A&E is doing 
right now and looking for: historical documenta- 
ries, which can be one at a time or a limited series; 
contemporary journalistic documentaries; and 
occasional nature and adventure shows." 

Andrea Taylor, director of media projects at 
the Ford Foundation, said that the foundation does 
give money to media, but the projects must relate 
to one of the six areas Ford is interested in. These 
include international affairs; education and cul- 
ture; governing and public policies; rights and 
social justice; rural poverty and resources; and 
urban poverty. While the Ford Foundation will 
consider funding any stage of a production, it 
never funds more than 20 to 30 percent of the 
entire cost. Additionally, the foundation looks at 
the ethnic and gender breakdown of the staff 
submitting the proposal. 

Representatives from NEH, ITVS, CPB, PBS, 
HBO, and TBS ("a consortium of initials," quipped 
one filmmaker) rounded out the panel. (They are 
the National Endowment for the Humanities, the 
Independent Television Service, the Corporation 
for Public Broadcasting, the Public Broadcasting 
Service, Home Box Office, and Turner Broad- 
casting System.) Whereas the cable networks had 
a general air of optimism regarding the work of 
independents, the others stressed the high degree 
of competitiveness. 

Unfortunately, the next panel — Funding in the 
Global Marketplace — did not prove to be as infor- 
mative. The five panelists, representing filmmak- 
ers, buyers, and programmers, seemed either dis- 
couraging or beyond reach. Mick Csaky, an inde- 
pendent producer from London, works way be- 
yond the scope of most of the assembled film- and 
videomakers. He talked about taking his initial 
seed money (about $10,000-12,000) and using it 
to fly around the globe (Japan, Europe, US) to get 
further commitments. Additionally, he tries to sell 
a 12-part series rather than a single piece. 

The representative from Japan's public station 
NHK reported that it had participated in more than 
20 coproductions in 1992. It's a situation that 
they'd like to increase, he noted, but by contribut- 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 39 



What festivals are you missing? 



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• Complete entry information 

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ing equipment rather than money. Francois Levie 
of Belgium, a producer and authority on European 
fundraising sources, was less encouraging. She 
lamented the fact that every filmmaker in her 
country eventually must go to the television chan- 
nel Canal Plus in France for funding. Since Canal 
Plus won't cover all the costs, it's necessary to 
approach France 2 and then go to the film markets, 
selling the work again and again — a process fa- 
miliar to many US producers. On top of it, the 
documentary must have a distinct style, one that 
takes on the identity of the producer's country and 
can still be translated into at least eight languages. 

A panel dealing with censorship brought to- 
gether American and foreign filmmakers whose 
experiences were quite different. PatricioGuzman, 
who had once been imprisoned in Chile's Na- 
tional Stadium, recounted how he had to smuggle 
footage out of Chile, which he later edited into The 
Battle of Chile. Guzman, now a resident of Spain, 
sees censorship in the broadest sense, blaming the 
abundance of fiction films for removing us from 
reality. "We live in a dictatorship of fiction that 
asphyxiates us," he said. He also questioned the 
fact that filmmakers had begun to make "weird" 
documentaries to compete with fiction. 

Marina Goldovskaya, a filmmaker who teaches 
at the University of Moscow, has a different take 
on censorship. She said, "There's no censorship at 
all" in today's Russia, but because of that, a new 
problem has arisen: now that the information 
barriers are down, everyone can say anything they 
want to say, and much of this information is 
reported in the media, whether reliable or not. 
Leonid Gurevitch, who is with the Associate 
Soviet Kino Initiative, added that censorship of 
the dollar is worse than censorship of the state. 

In a panel called Rocking the Boat, which 
concerned itself largely with social documenta- 
ries, Michael Moore chastised filmmakers for 
being too serious and alienating a large part of 
their audience. Annoyed by the comic tone that 
Moore adapted, Guzman accused him of trying to 
turn the Congress into a cocktail party. Moore 
responded that he wasn't trying to be "silly," but 
to encourage documentarians to "lighten up a 
little bit" and stop being so removed from the 
people they wish to reach. 

In general the Congress was anything but re- 
moved or silly. It addressed serious issues and 
concerns of documentarians as well as providing 
a rare opportunity to meet and network with other 
filmmakers whose speciality is the nonfiction 
form. The Congress was organized to mark the 
tenth anniversary of IDA. Harrison Engle, the 
IDA board of directors' chair, says they will 
probably do another congress at some point, though 
there are no plans to make it an annual event. 
"There's talk of future congresses," he said, "but 
certainly not this year." Then he added, "There's 
so much to discuss, and three days were not 
enough. It should have been a week long." 

Karen Kramer is a documentary filmmaker living 
in New York. 



40 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



Domestic 

BLACKLIGHT, July 27-Aug. 10, IL. Month-long 
celebration of Black-produced & oriented int'l cinema. 
Program incl. features, shorts, docs, videos & TV. In 
past, fest has programmed new works by African, Carib- 
bean & Black British filmmakers, as well as African 
American works. Retros & special programs part of fest. 
No entry fee. Formats: 3/4", 1/2", 35mm, 16mm, s-8, 
8mm. Deadline: June 1 . Contact: Floyd Webb, Blacklight, 
1 507 E. 53rd, #428, Chicago, IL 606 1 5; (3 1 2) 649-4854. 

BRECKENRIDGE FESTIVAL OF FILM, Sept. 23-26, 
CO. Noncompetitive fest for new ind. prods, now in 
1 3th yr. Feature, shorts, doc, experimental, animated & 
educational films accepted. Program made up of approx. 
30 films, incl. premieres, retros & ind. work. Critics 
Choice Award selected by audience balloting. Entry fee: 
$25 (entrants responsible for all shipping costs). Formats: 
35mm. i6mm, 1/2"; preview on cassette. Deadline: June 
30. Contact: Tamara K. Johnston, Breckenridge Festival 
of Film, Box 7 1 8, Breckenridge, CO 80424; (303) 453- 
6200. 

GREAT PLAINS FILM FESTIVAL, July 13-25. NE. In 
its second yr, fest is a regional, competitive venue for 
ind. film & video artists working in the heartland of U.S. 
& Canada. Works must be completed between Jan. 1 99 1 
& April 1993. Artists must be from Great Plains or 
entries must relate in content or narrative to the area. 
SI 0,000 in prizes. Deadline: April 30. For entry form, 
contact: Great Plains Film Fest, Mary Riepma Ross Film 
Theater, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln. Lincoln, NE 68588- 
0302; (402) 472-5353. 

LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN 
FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, July 8- 1 8, CA. Presented by 
Gay & Lesbian Media Coalition, fest in 1 1th yr. Films & 
videos should be by &/or about lesbians, gays, bisexuals 
& transgenders. Features, shorts, docs, experimental 
works accepted. Entry fee: S5. Deadline: Apr. 16. 
Contact: Los Angeles Int'l Gay & Lesbian Film & Video 
Festival, Gay & Lesbian Media Coalition. 8228 Sunset 
Blvd., Ste 308, Los Angeles, CA 90046; (213) 650- 
5133; fax: (213) 650-2226. 

MARGARET MEAD FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 2-10, NY. 
Premiere US fest for anthropological & ethnographic 
film & video accepts work w/ themes primarily on non- 
Western cultures, but also incl. Western culture; topics 
incl. community & family issues, indiv. portraits. 
Docudramas not accepted. Selected entrants receive fest 
passes & certificates of participation; some financial 
assistance available. Entry fees: $15 student, $30 ind. 
film/video, $75 TV/commercial film/video. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 3/4"; preview on cassette preferred. 
Deadline: May 1. Contact: Elaine Chamov, Margaret 
Mead Film & Video Festival. American Museum of 
Natural History. Education Dept.. Central Park West at 
79th St. New York, NY 10024; (212) 769-5305: fax: 
(212)769-5329. 

SANTA BARBARA LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FEST- 
IVAL, Nov., CA. Film & video works of all genres 
accepted. Format: 16, 35mm and 1/2" video; previews 
on 1/2" cassette. Audience Award for best feature (over 
60 min.) and best short. Include bio or resume w/ address 
& phone, description of entry & technical info: length, 
format, gauge, credits & production stills. Entry fee: 
$ 10. Deadline: June 1 . Contact: Mark Kerr, Lesbian and 
Gay Film Fest, P.O. Box 30794, Santa Barbara, CA 
93130; fax: (805) 963-9086. 



This month's festivals have been 
compiled by Kathryn Bowser, director 
of the FIVF Festival Bureau. Listings do 
not constitute an endorsement. Since 
some details change faster than we 
do, we recommend that you contact 
the festival for further information 
before sending prints or tapes. In order 
to improve our reliability and make 
this column more beneficial to 
independents, we encourage all film- 
and videomakers to contact FIVF 
Festival Bureau with their personal 
festival experiences, positive and 
negative. 

SHORT ATTENTION SPAN FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, 

June 1 1- 12.CA. Entries up to 3 min. in all noncommercial 
cats (narrative, experimental, animation) accepted. Work 
may have originated on any format; preview on 1/2" 
only. Accepted entries screened at Artists' TV Access 
gallery w/ selected entries cablecast on ATA's weekly 
Thursday evening cable show. Entry fee: $5. Incl. SASE 
for return of videos. Deadline: May 1 4. Contact: Artists' 
TV Access, c/o Elizabeth Hall/SASFVF, 992 Valencia 
St, San Francisco. CA 941 10; (415) 824-3890. 

UFVA STUDENT FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, Aug. 3-7, 
PA. Current student films & videos accepted for 1st 
annual competitive fest sponsored by University Film & 
Video Association, an int'l organization dedicated to 
film & video arts & sciences & to development of 
motion pictures as communication medium. Fest. held 
during UFVA conference at Temple Univ., emphasizes 
independence, creativity & new approaches to visual 
media. Cats: doc, experimental, narrative. Awards: 1st, 
2nd & runners-up in each cat. Entries must have been 
created by persons enrolled in educational institution at 
time of prod & should have been completed no earlier 
than Aug. 1991. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2"; preview on 
cassette. Deadline: May 15 (requests for extensions 
considered). Contact: Dave Klu-ft. UFVA Student Film 
& Video Festival. Dept. of Radio-TV-Film, Temple 
University, Philadelphia, PA 19122; (215) 923-4540. 



Foreign 



FILM+ARC INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FOR FILM + 
ARCHITECTURE, Dec. 2-5, Austria. Organized by 
artimage & held in Graz, Austria, this fest presents an 
int'l forum for films & videos on architecture. Sections: 
architectural films competition, retros, special screening, 
thematic programs, symposium, exhibition. Competition 
open to all cats (fiction, doc, animation, experimental) 
on topics relating to architecture, urbanism, landscape 
architecture, or design. Int'l jury awards prizes, incl. 
Grand Prix of AS 70,000. All lengths accepted; entries 
must have been completed since June 30, 1 99 1 . Formats: 



35mm, 16mm, s-8, Hi8, 3/4", 1/2", Betacam. Entry fee: 
ATS 500. Deadline: Aug. 31. Contact: Int'l Festival fur 
Film+Architektur, artimage, Katzianergasse 3, A-8010 
Graz, Austria: tel: 43 3 16 82 95 13; fax: 4331682 95 II. 

IX INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL, 

Nov. 5-14, Madrid. Organized by Ateneo Feminista, a 
cultural nonprofit organization, fest presents works in 
cats of feature films, short films, docs, and video. Any 
movie of video directed by a woman can be entered. 
Works must have been completed after Jan. 1, 1991. 
Cash awards for Best Feature. Best Doc. Best Short Film 
& Best Video. Deadline: May 30. Contact: Int'l Women's 
Film Fest, Ateneo Feminista de Madrid, C.I.F. 
G2889 1 299, c/. Barquillo,44-2° 1 , 28004 Madrid, Spain; 
tel: (91) 308 69 35. 

SAO PAULO INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTI- 
VAL. Aug. 19-29, Brazil. Est. in 1990, this 
noncompetitive fest celebrates its 4th edition this yr. 
Organized by Museum of Image & Sound of Sao Paulo 
(MIS) & linked w/ State Dept. of Culture, fest aims to 
exhibit work "that may contribute to development of 
short film concerning its language, specific shape & way 
of production." Max. length: 35 min. All genres accepted. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on cassette. Deadline: 
May 20. Contact: Zita Carvalhosa, fest director, Int'l 
Short Film Festival of Sao Paulo, Museu Da Imagem E 
Do Som, Av. Europa 158, 01449 Sao Paulo, Brazil; tel: 
55 1 1 282 8074; fax: 55 1 1 852 9601. US contact: Iara 
Lee, (212) 673-7652. 

VIDE FIL VIDEO, Nov. 27-Dec. 5, Mexico. Annual 
video fest sponsored by Univ. of Guadalajara. Awards: 
1st prize of $10,000 in each of 3 cats (fiction, doc, 
experimental). Entries must have been produced in 1992 
or 1993. Works selected will be exhibited at University 
Bookfair. Tapes will be held in university archive (not 
distributed commercially). Deadline: June 30. US 
contact: Karen Ranucci, Int'l MediaResource Exchange, 
124 Washington PI, New York, NY 10014; (212) 463- 
0108. 



Meet Marco Mueller 

Festival Director 

Locarno International Film 

Festival 

Tuesday, April 27th 

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

at AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th floor, NYC 

(between Bleecker and Houston) 

AIVF will host a reception in honor of Marco 
Mueller. Take advantage of this opportunity 
to ask questions, mingle, and gain important 
insights into festivals from the former head 
of the Pesaro and Rotterdam Film Festivals, 
and current head of the Locarno Festival. 
Space is limited; please call (212) 473-3400 
now to reserve your place. 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 41 



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has a 250-character limit & costs $25 
per issue. Ads exceeding this length 
will be edited. Payment must be made 
at the time of submission. Anyone 
wishing to run a classified more than 
once must pay for each insertion & 
indicate the number of insertions on 
the submitted copy. Each classified 
must be typed, double-spaced & 
worded exactly as it should appear. 
Deadlines are the 8th of each month, 
two months prior to the cover date 
(e.g. April 8 for the June issue). Make 
check or money order — no cash, 
please — payable to FIVF, 625 
Broadway, 9th floor, New York, NY 
10012. 

AIDS, HEALING & HEALTHCARE ISSUES. Send us 
new work to preview. Aquarius Prods distributes 
selective, award-winning videos. We work w/producers 
to help meet your needs. Leslie Kussmann, Aquarius 
Prods, 35 Main St, Wayland, MA 01778; (508) 651- 
2963. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS forbusiness mkt. We distribute 
videos in areas of leadership, motivation, quality mgmt, 
cust sve, team concepts, globalization & other mgmt 
issues. Julie Pfeiffer, Video Publishing House, 930 N. 
Nat'l Pkwy, Schaumburg IL 60173; (800) 824-8889. 

ALTERNATIVE FILMWORKS, experimental film 
distrib. seeks ind. film/video works, any length. No 
mainstream films. Send videotape copy to: alternative 
filmworks, Dept. IC, 259 Oakwood Ave, State College, 
PA 16803-1698; (814) 867-1528; fax: 9488. 

CHIP TAYLOR COMMUNICATIONS, the best 
distributor, is always seeking the best productions. Send 
yours on VHS and we'll notify you within 7 days. 
Contact: CTC, 15 Spollett Dr, Derry, NH 03038. 

Freelancers 

NON-PROFIT PRODUCTION co. seeks grant writer for 
ongoing film and video projects. Call (201) 963-8830. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER looking for interesting projects. 
Owner of an Am 1 6SR and other camera and lighting 
equipment. Call Ralph (718) 284-0223. 

STEADICAM for film & video. Special rates for inds. 
Call Sergei Franklin (212) 228-4254. 

AWARD-WINNING CAMERAMAN w/ 16mm Aaton, 
Betacam SP & Steadicam, looking for challenging 
projects. Partial client list: ABC Sports, Atlantic Records, 
IBM, Pitney Bowes, Wilderness Society. Complete 
crews avail. Reasonable rates. Mike Carmine (718) 224- 
3355. 



BETACAM SP: Award-winning cameraman w/ BVW 
507 field pkg will work w/in your budget. Equip, pkg. 
incl. Vinten tripod. DP kit. wide-angle lens, Neuman 
KMR8 1 , Lavs & Toyota 4-Runner. B VP7/B VW 35 pkg 
& full postprod. services. Hal (201) 662-7526. 

BETACAM SP. $450/day. Cameraman w/ Ikegami 
HL79E/BVW-35SP looking for interesting short-term 
projects. Corp., industrial, doc. Incl. tripod, mics, monitor, 
lighting. 5-passenger van incl. 3/4" Sony off-line editing 
suite, $15/hr. Tom (212) 279-7003. 

EXPERIENCED COMPOSER avail, to write/orchestrate 
music for film, video, doc. Versatile, insightful, works 
w/in deadline. Has own MIDI studio. NY & vicinity. 
Demo tape & resume avail. Kahn-Ellis (215) 725-38 1 6. 

BETACAM SP LOCATION PKG w/ technician, $400/ 
day. Incl. lights, mics & Sachler Tripod. Same but non- 
SP Beta, 3/4" or Hi8, $300. Window dubs, Betacam, 
Hi8, VHS & 3/4" also avail. Electronic Visions (212) 
691-0375. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY avail, for dramatic 16 

or 35mm prods of any length. Credits incl. Metropolitan. 
Call to see my reel. John Thomas (201) 783-7360. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 35mm Arriflex 
BL, Zeiss Superspeeds, zoom, video tap + lighting/grip. 
Exp. shooting in Philippines, Mexico, Middle East. 
Feature, commercial & music video credits. Call for 
reel. Blain Brown (212) 279-0162. 

HI8 PRODUCTION & EDITING. 1- & 3-chip cameras, 
Steadicam Jr. Cameramen. Edit w/ digital efx, frame 
accuracy & slow motion w/ Sony EVO 9700. Dubs to & 
from 3/4" & SVHS. Film transfers. Low rates. (718) 
482-0962 or beep (212) 461-0063. 

BETACAM PKG (reg. or SP) w/ tripod, lights, mics, 
shotgun & van avail. Award-winning cameraman & 
crew avail. Fast & reliable. Broadcast quality. Call Eric 
(718)389-7104. 

CAMERAMAN w/ equip. Credits incl. 4 features (35 & 
16mm), news & doc (CBS, BBC, PBS), ads, industrials 
& music vids. 16mm & Betacam pkgs w/ lights, mics, 
crew & van. Strong visual sense. Personable & reasonable 
rates. Call for demo. Eric (718) 389-7104. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 10 feature credits 
including Straight Out of Brooklyn, Walls & Bridges. 
Self-owned 35/1 6 camera systems w/ video assist, light/ 
electric/grip pkg, sync sound recording system. Lowest 
Rates! Call John Rosnell (212) 366-5030. 

C AMERM AN. Aaton Super 1 6mm & Betacam SP pkgs. 
Feature film, commercial, doc, industrial & music video 
experience. Flexible rates. High-quality work w/in your 
budget. Call for reel. Dave Goldsmith (718) 260-8912. 

16MM PROD PKG w/ detail-oriented cameraman from 
$ 1 50/day . Includes CP- 1 6 camera, w/ fluid head, Nagra, 
Sennheiser mics, Lowell lights, dolly & track, grip kit w/ 
mini-van. Complete film editing also avail. Tom (201) 
933-6698. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY avail, for 16/35mm 
prods of any length. Doc, music videos, shorts & low- 
budget feature films. Bi-coastal, negotiable rate. Call to 
see my reel. Floyd Ranee (718) 789-3567. 

THESCREENPLA Y DOCTOR & The Movie Mechanic- 
Professional story editors/post-prod specialists will 
analyze your screenplay or treatment & evaluate your 
film-in-progress. Major studio & ind. background. 
Reasonable rates. Call (212) 219-9224. 



42 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



3FXs 
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Just call 206-464-7148 for our free location and production guide. 

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Beta-Beta edit $75 HI8-Beta edit $75 

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3/4-3/4 self edit $35 VHS-VHS self edit $10 

Beta-Beta w/HI8 or 3/4 source in 3 machine system w/effects $95 

Amiga character generator pre-session $40 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) '. $20 

Miicrogen character generator in session (in addition to edit) $10 

1 hour minimum on all editing services 



TIME CODE SERVICES (Ratespe rhour, 

Beta Time Code Generation $60 HI8 & 3/4 Time Code Generation . . . $35 

Beta to VHS Burn-in $60 HI8 & 3/4 to VHS Burn-in $35 

1 hour minimun on all time code services 

PRODUCTION SERVICES (Daily rates/Broadcast) 

Betacam SP E.N.G. package w/crew of two $850 

Pro Hi Band 8 E.N.G. package w/crew of two $600 



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CAMERAMAN WANTED for assignment in the sun! 
Contact: (718)629-4662. 

MUSIC LICENSING, RIGHTS, PERMISSIONS, research. 
Fast, affordable service. Trace Elements (512) 892- 
4659. 

LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT DP on your next science or 
arts project? I'll help realize your vision w/ enthusiasm 
& intelligence & research the subject to deliver quality 
images. DP/Camera operator. Film & video. Dallas- 
based. Will travel. Chuck Pratt (214) 704-4021. 

BETACAM SP Sony 3-chip BVP/70/BVV5 SP comb, 
tripod, lights, mics. Incl. my services as cameraman/ 
technician & use of 5-passenger van. Corporate, 
industrial, doc: $550/day. Sony 3/4" off-line system for 
rent w/ delivery & setup. Tom (212) 279-7003 

CINEMATOGRAPHER from Eastern Europe interested 
in shooting narrative projects. Call Lukasz Jogalla (212) 
477-6786. 

AD DESIGN/ADMIN. ASST. Typing w/ laser prints. Ideal 
for letters, mail list, invoices & proposals. Design for 
ads, letterhead & business cards. Fully equipped Mac 
design/admin, office. Quick. Reasonable. Call (212) 
439-7264; fax: 662-5513. 

VIDEO PRODUCTION PACKAGES. Experienced 
videographer w/ flexible production packages that 
include shooting &/orediting.Multi-formatcapabilities, 
window dubs & computer logging. (212) 260-7748. 

VIDEO EDITING & TV GRAPHICS. Hi8, 3/4", Betacam. 
Budget burn-ins, 8mm time coding, edit decks, etc. Let 
us design your title sequence & promo. You will profit 
from our 15+ yrs in broadcasting, ind. prods & hard 
work. Call Matt (212) 675-4188. 

COMPLETE BETACAM SP PKGS. Lights & sound 
included. Experienced crews avail. Reasonable rates. 
Larry Scharf Productions. (212)431-0887. 

Preproduction 

SCRIPT SUPERVISION WORKSHOP: May 7, 8, 9 (Fri. 
eve. 5:30-9:30, Sat. & Sun. 9-6) in New York City w/ 
Lynne Twentyman, IATSE 161 871 (credits incl. Doc 
Hollywood, All That Jazz). Covers feature film, series 
TV & commercials. $295/session. Limited enrollment. 
(212)580-0677. 

I WANT YOUR SCREENPLAY. Determined ind. film- 
maker seeks property for prod. Any style: dramatic, 
comic, unusual, mainstream. Fresh writing stands out 
from the pack. Submit yours to: Kessler Company, Box 
976, Village Station, New York, NY 10014. 

INDEPENDENT PRODUCER/PARTNER, w/ serious 
interest in creative investment strategizing, sought for 
dramatic feature about young poets in New York City. 
For further information, call John at (617) 643- 521 1. 

BUDO, a low-budget feature, is forming itscre w. Shooting 
is for 3 weeks in July and August. Deferred payment 
contracts. All positions available. Send resume to BUDO 
Prods, 245 8th Ave, Ste 199, New York, NY 1001 1 . 

SEEKING ACTORS (M-F), production manager, casting 
director, DP, PA's& other crew positions for film short 
about women's street experiences. Possible deferred 
pay. Please contact Barbara Boydston (212) 260-4485. 

PRODUCTION COMPANY seeks scripts for features 
and documentaries. Call (201) 963-8830. 



44 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



Postproduction 



TRANSCRIPTIONS TRANSLATIONS & interpretation 
in English. Spanish & French by native speakers. Call 
1 2 1 2 1 477-0688; beeper: (212) 404-9462. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY: Super 8 & regular 8mm 
film-to- video masters, scene-by-scene to 1 " & Betacam. 
By appointment only. New tel.: (508) 948-7985. 

COZY & CHEAP, Sony 3/4" off-line system for only 
S450/week. West 57th Street location. Call Jane (212) 
929-4795 or Deborah (212) 226-2579. 

16 SI PER-16 6 PLATE RENTALS: Just S325 per month, 
free (reasonable) delivery. 2 month min. Splicers avail. 
Also Fast Track Dolly w/ 15' track, S30/day. Mini Jib 
(use on std. 100mm legs!), S45 day. Media Logic (212) 
924-3824. 

OFF-LINE AT HOME ! Will rent 2 Sony 5850s w/ RM440 
or RM450 edit controller & monitors. Low monthly 
rates. S650/wk. Answer your own phone & cut all night 
if you like! Betacam SP location crews avail., too. John 
(212) 245-1364 or 226-7686. 

3/4" OFF-LINE SYSTEM for rent. Cut at your location. 
Sony 9800/9850 decks (SP w/ Dolby & XLR output). 
RM 450 controller, Tascam 6-channel mixer w/ amp & 
speakers, 13" monitors w/blue & underscam, TC reader. 
Long/short-term rental. (718) 392-6058. 

16MM EDITING ROOM, great location, very low rates. 
Fully equipped w/ 6-plate Steenbeck. 24-hr access, in 
East Village, safe & clean bldg. Daily, weekly or monthly 
rentals. Call Su at (212) 475-7186 or (718) 782-1920. 

3/4" SONY OFF-LINE editing sys. delivered to you & 
installed: $500/wk; Sl,600/mo. 5850, 5800, RM440, 2 
monitors. Or edit in my space. 30th & 8th Ave. Betacam 
SP Sony BVP70/BVV5 3-chip prod. pkg. Tom (212) 
279-7003. 

3/4" SONY OFF-LINE editing system w/ comfortable 
office, telephone, fax machine, VHS viewing, many 
extras. West 72nd St. location. Call (212) 580-2727. 

16MM EDITING ROOM & OFFICE space for rent in 
suite of inds. Fully equipped w/ 6-plate Steenbeck & 24- 
hr access. All windowed & new carpet. Located at W. 
24th St & 7th Ave. Reasonable rates. Call Jeff at Film 
Partners (212) 366-5101. 

MUSIC/VOICE OVERS/SCORING. 16 track 1". All the 
effects. Mac. Midi. DAT, Otari half track, clean 
comfortable. 26th St. location. $25/hr (212) 229-9293. 

FILM EDITING SUITES for rent. Fully equipped rooms 
with 6- or 8-plate Steenbecks in luxury bldg w/ terrace 
and 24-hr doorman. Midtown, 1 block from DuArt. 
Student rates. Please call Edward Deitch (914) 928- 
2682 or call the studio (212) 245-3395. 

SUPER OFF-LINE, CHEAP: Hi-quality Panasonic 7750 
Super- VHS system. EZ to use, frame accurate, on-board 
TBCs. No 3/4" cassettes to lug. Nice suite in Flatiron 
dist. 24-hr access. $150/day, $495/5-day week. Editor 
also avail. Manhattan Media (212) 645-4321. 

Miscellaneous 

DIR. OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, talent & 
experience. Credits incl. features, commercials, 
industrials, docs., shorts & music videos. 
Owner of Aaton 1 6 mm/Super 1 6 & Betacam 
pkgs. Call for my reel. Bob (212) 255-8868. 



APRIL 1993 



VIDEO ACQUISITION/ EDITING - AT RECESSION PRICES I 

acquisition location packages: ikegami hc 340 w sony beta 

SP: P VV-5 :$350 DAY/ HC 340 w S-VHS BR-S411U:$200 DAY/ HI-8 CCD V5000: $100 DAY/ 
Packages Incl: Batteries, Charger, AC. power converter, Huid-head Tripod, Lowel Tota-light kit., Field 
Monitor/ Optional aces: Lowel DP, Pros, Shure Stereo Mixer, Sennheiser MKH60, boom, Tram lavaiiers, 
Betacam playback adaptor. Price breaks after 2 consecutive days.Wkly discounts, . 

— . — — EDITING IN -HOUSE: SONY BETA SP- AMIGA- 
THIRD m M M TOASTER 2.0 combination at 3/4" SP pricesl / Bump HI-8, S-VHS, 
m M m or 3/4* to BETA SP in- house, adding SMPTE TO or window dub 

WAVE m m m to a^y format:: $30 HR/ Edit 2 machines BETA SP to BETA SP: $45 

^L. ^L ^L hrw ed. plus TOASTER 2„ and AMILINK edit controller w auto 
_ _ _ _ _ _ ^^ ^^ ^^ EDL/ 2 machines, self-service: only $20 hr./ Edit A-B roll (3 machines) 

MEDIA ■■■ BETA SPw TOASTER 2. DVE, auto assembly mastering: $60 hrw 

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THE INDEPENDENT 45 



Conferences ■ Seminars 

AMERICAN FILM AND VIDEO ASSOCIATION 

celebrates 50th anniv. in 1993. Special events incl. 35th 
American Film & Video Festival & Conference. May 
26-30, Chicago. Theme: "New Technologies: Frontiers 
of Media Production" w/ demos of new tech. workshops 
on intellectual freedom, copyright/fair use, library 
security systems, etc. Contact: AFVA, Box 48659, 
Niles, IL 60714; (708) 698-6440. 

I'. I mi )N FOUNDATION announces 1st Advocacy Video 
Conference on uses of video as advocacy tool, 
Washington, DC, May 21-23. Public interest leaders, 
video producers & foundation executives invited. For 
info, incl. registration & video nomination forms, contact: 
Kay Johnson, Project Asst., Benton Fndtn, 1710 Rhode 
Island. NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 857-7829, 
ext. 25; fax: (202) 857-7841. 

MONTAGE 93: Int'l Festival of the Image celebrates 
fusion of art & tech & explores future of visual 
communications, July 1 1-Aug. 7, NY. Exhibitions. trade 
show, lectures, symposia and arts performances. Call 
for info: (800) 724-4332. 

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MEDIA ARTS CENTERS 

i N A MAC) conference. Rewiring Our Networks, June 3- 
6, Chicago. Cosponsored by AIVF. Preregistration 
(before May 3): S85 for AIVF & NAMAC individual 
members, S95 nonmember individuals; $110 NAMAC 
institutional members, $160 institutional nonmembers. 
Registration: $ 1 1 5 individual members. $ 1 25 individual 
nonmembers; S140 institutional members, $195 
institutional nonmembers. Single-day registration: $50 
members, $60 nonmembers. Send checks to: NAMAC. 
1212 Broadway, Ste 816, Oakland, CA 94612; (510) 
451-2717. 

NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL MEDIA MARKET, CA, 

May 19-21. Only media market in country specifically 
designed for buying & selling doc, educational & special 
interest media. Also, seminars and workshops on funding, 
distribution, new tech & market trends (May 18-23). 
Contact: (510) 465-6885. 

REPLITECH INT'L presents 3-day conference & expo 
for duplicators & replicators of video & audio tape, 
optical discs & floppy disks, June 15-17, Santa Clara, 
CA. Contact: Benita Roumanis, Knowledge Industry 
Pubs, 701 Westchester Ave, White Plains, NY 10604; 
(914) 328-9157; fax: 9093. 

YELLOWSTONE MEDIA ARTS Summer Workshops, 
May 24-June 25, MT. Intensive workshops offered in 
the heart of the Rockies, incl.: (May 24-June 4) Intro to 
Digitized Photography; From Manager to Mogul: Playing 
the Producer's Game; Stereography: Historical & 
Contemporary 3-D Photography; (May 24-June 1 1 ) 
Advanced Screenwriting; (June 5-6) Film Directing; 
(June 7-18) Images of Women; (June 7-25) 
Contemporary European Film & TV. Contact: MSU 
Summer Session, 303 Montana Hall, MSU, Bozeman, 
MT 59717; (406) 994-66X3. 

Films ■ Tapes Wanted 

AXELGREASE, wkly public access program, seeks 
experimental, narrative, animation, doc & computer 
imaging under 27 mins. Showcases video & film on 
Buffalo access & around US. Send 1/2", 3/4", Beta, 
8mm, or Hi8 tapes to: Axlegrease, c/o Squeaky Wheel, 
Buffalo Media Resources. 372 Connecticut St, Buffalo, 
NY 14213; (716) 884-7172. 



Notices are listed free of charge. AIVF 
members receive first priority; others 
are included as space permits. The 
Independent reserves the right to edit 
for length. Deadlines for Notices will 
be respected. These are the 8th of the 
month, two months prior to cover date 
(e.g., March 8 for the May issue). Send 
to: Independent Notices, FIVF, 625 
Broadway, New York, NY 10012. 



BAD TWIN, NY-based prod./exhibition collective, seeks 
films under 30 min. for ongoing programs in Europe & 
US. Alternative approaches to all genres & forms wel- 
comed. Must have finished 16mm prints avail. Submit 
VHS only for preview; incl. SASE. Contact: Bad Twin, 
Box 528, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276. 

BRONXNET (Bronx Community Cable Programming 
•Corporation), nonprofit organization controlling4 access 
channels on Bronx Cable TV System, seeks works by 
ind. video & filmmakers for access airing. Bronxnet 
produces programs &, whenever possible, facilitates & 
assists community in producing & cablecasting programs 
for, by & about Bronx. Contact: Fred Weiss, program 
director, (718)960-1180. 

CABLE ACCESS SHOW seeks short drama, doc, 
animation & experimental films/videos. Interested parties 
should send 3/4" copies to: Quick Flicks c/o Eugene 
Haynes, 814 10th Ave, #3A, New York, NY 10019 or 
call (212) 642-5236. 

CATHODE CAFE seeks short video art interstitials to 
play btwn alternative music videos on Seattle's TCI/ 
Viacom Channel 29, Sundays 9:30 p.m. Format: 3/4" 
preferred; 1/2" ok. Contact: Stan LePard, 2700 Aiki Ave 
SW #305, Seattle, WA 981 16; (206) 937-2353. 

CENTER FOR NEW TV (CNTV) seeks 3/4", VHS or Hi8 
work for cable access show. Contact: CNTV, 1440 N. 
Dayton St, Chicago, IL 60622. 

CENTRAL AMERICAN NEWS PROJECT seeks indivs 
to produce news & public affairs pieces for monthly 
access show on Central America. Contribute footage or 
contacts w/ people in CA w/ film or video equip. 
Contact: Carol Yourman, 362 Washington St, Cam- 
bridge, MA 02139; (617) 492-8719. 

CITY TV, progressive municipal cable access channel in 
Santa Monica, seeks works on seniors, disabled, children, 
Spanish-language & video art; any length. Broadcast 
exchanged for equip, access at state-of-the-art facility. 
Contact: Laura Greenfield, Cable TV Manager, City 
TV, 1 685 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 9040 1 ; (2 1 3) 458- 
8590. 

COMEDY CENTRAL seeks comedic student/ind. films 
& videos up to 3 mins to air on its flagship program, 
Short Attention Span Theater. Must have broadcast 
rights. No fees. Submit VHS or 3/4" tapes to: Josh 



Lebowitz. HBO Downtown Prods., 120 E. 23rd St. 6th 
fl. New York, NY 10010; (212) 512-8851. 

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV CENTER (DCTV) 

accepts 3/4" Beta & VHS tapes for open screenings & 
special series w/ focus on women. Middle East, gay/ 
lesbian. Native American, labor & Asian art. Contact: 
Tanya Steele, DCTV, 87 Lafayette St, New York, NY 
10013; (212) 941-1298. 

FILM/VIDEO SHORTS (7-17 min.) wanted on varied 
subjects for concept testing on nat'l TV. Submit 1/2" 
tapes for review to: Maureen Steinel, Ste 4768, 30 
Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 101 12. 

FLICKTURES seeks 2-5 min comedy prods, any genre, 
any style, to air on L.A. cable access; possible deferred 
pay. Send 3/4", 1/2", Beta or super 8 w/ SASE to: 
Flicktures, c/o Barker/Morgan Prods, 12039 Allin St, 
Culver City, CA 90230-5802. 

FORUM GALLERY, Jamestown Community College, 
seeks media that address environmental issues for "Artists 
Consider Environment" exhibition, Nov. -Dec. 1993. 
Deadline: April 15. Each slide, film or video must incl. 
name of artist, dimensions of work or running time, title 
& media. Send no more than 10 35mm slides, resume & 
related support materials w/ SASE to: Artists Consider 
the Environment, Forum Gallery, Jamestown Com- 
munity College, Box 20, Jamestown, NY 14702-0020. 
For info, contact: Michelle Henry, (716) 665-9107. 

LESBIANS IN THE CREATIVE ARTS (LICA) invites 
submissions of original works for an Evening w/ LICA 
video cabaret. Artists must own all rights. Contact: 
Video, Ste 443, 496A Hudson St, New York, NY 1 00 14. 

LITTLE HORN PICTURES seeks ind. produced shorts 
for public access program. Doc, drama, animation. Any 
length up to 45 min. Student work welcome. Send VHS 
preview tape to: Little Horn Pictures, c/o Eric Rogers, 
600 McCall Rd, Greenville, SC 29607; (803) 967-0854. 
Incl. producer's name, address & phone number. 

MINORITY TELEVISION PROJECT, Bay Area 
multicultural public TV station, invites programming 
from ind. directors, producers & writers who have 
person of color in key creative position & present 
crosscultural perspectives. Children's, entertainment, 
animation, features, health, education & lifestyles sought. 
Submit 1/2" or 3/4" tapes (orig. must be on 3/4" or l"for 
broadcast. ) to: John Weber, programming director, 1311 
Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109; (415) 394-5687. 

NATIVE VOICES seeks proposals for 2 half-hourcultural 
affairs progs by /for Montana Native Americans. Contact: 
Native Voices Public TV Workshop, Dept. of Film & 
TV, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717; 
(406) 994-6223. 

NOMAD VIDEO seeks works from videomakers of all 
ages, backgrounds & skill levels for monthly screenings. 
Screenings showcase grassroots artists at changing 
locations around Seattle area. Send VHS, S-VHS or Hi8 
& SASE to: Gavin the Nomad, 501 N. 36th St #365, 
Seattle, WA 98103; (206) 781-0653. 

PACIFIC ARTS seeks selected domestic & foreign ind. 
projects — narrative, animation, doc, experimental & 
performance — to air on wkly cable access show. Any 
theme, any length. Projects credited. Submit 3/4" tapes 
w/ SASE to: Pacific Arts, Box 533, Farmington, MI 
48332-0533. 

PERALTA COLLEGES TV (PCTV), multicultural 
educational station reaching 200,000 homes in Oakland- 
Berkeley area, seeks challenging social-issue docs & 



46 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



culturally diverse TV' programs. Rare alternative outlet 
in Bay area. Excellent exposure. Submit 3/4" or VHS 
tape w/ short description & letter granting local cablecast 
rights to: PCTV programming. 900 Fallon St. Oakland. 
CA 94607; (510) 464-3253. 

PMS i POST-MODERN SISTERS), nat'ly touring 
exhibition program, looking for innovative & challenging 
short films by women for future programs. Contact: Lisa 
Austin. (415) 648-3810 or Susanne Fairfax. (415) 751- 
3507. 

QITCK FLICKS. NYC ind cable access TV show, seeks 
short subject drama, doc, animation & experimental 
films & videos. Send 3/4" U-matic copies to Quick 
Flicks c/o Eugene Haynes, 814 10th Ave, #3 A. New 
York, NY 10019: (212) 642-5236. 

REEL TIME, monthly film series at Performance Space 
122, seeks experimental, doc & narrative films. Submit 
super 8 & 16 mm to: Jim Browne, c/o Reel Time. P.S. 
122, 150 1st Ave. New York, NY 10009: (212) 477- 
5288. 

THE 90's seeks short (under 15 min.) doc. music & 
experimental Hi8 works for nat'l broadcast. Excerpts, 
works-in-progress accepted. Pays S150/min. Contact: 
Fund for Innovative TV, 400 N. Michigan Ave. #1608. 
Chicago, EL 606 1 1 ; (3 1 2) 32 1 -932 1 . 

TOONTOWN RATS, Artists TV Access' new animation 
forum, seeks animated shorts. Send submissions to: 
Artists Television Access. 992 Valencia St, San 
Francisco. CA 941 10: or contact Keith Knight, (415) 
752-4037/824-3890. 

UNQUOTE TELEVISION, cablecast on DUTV. Drexel 
University's channel 54, seeks narrative, animation, 
experimental, performance & doc works by young 
filmmakers from Philly & elsewhere. Show reaches 
767,000 households in 3 states. Contact: Unquote TV, c/ 
o DUTV, 33rd & Chestnut St, Philadelphia. PA 1 9 1 04: 
(215)895-2927. 

WILLOW MIXED MEDIA seeks Amiga-based works 
for Amiga Artists on the Air, prog, distributed on cable 
access & video. Small fee. Submit material on 3.5" 
Amiga disks. VHS. 3/4" tape to: Toby Carey. Willow 
Mixed Media, Box 194. Lenox Ave, Glenford. NY 
12433: (914) 657-2914. 

WOMEN OF COLOR in Media Arts Database seeks 
submissions of films & videos for database which incl. 
video filmographies, bibliographical info & biographical 
data. Contact: Helen Lee. Women of Color in Media 
Arts Database. Women Make Movies. 225 Lafayette, 
Ste 207, New York, NY 10012; (212) 925-0606. 

WYOL'-TV, cable access station in Madison, WI, seeks 
music-related videos for wkly alternative music show. 
Send 1/2" or 3/4" tapes. No payment: videos credited. 
Contact: WYOU-TV, 140 W. Gilman St, Madison, Wl 
53703. 

Opportunities ■ Gigs 

ADELPHI UNIVERSITY, located 18 miles from 
Manhattan, seeks asst professor to teach film & video & 
to direct professional internship program. Req.: exp. 
teaching media prod, from technical & creative 
perspective, knowledge of film/video art. history & 
analysis & substantial body of work. Must appreciate 
changing nature of undergraduate instruction & have 
interest in redefining relation btwn general education & 
specialized study in all disciplines. Send letter of appl., 
resume & philosophy of teaching prod, to: Dean William 

APRIL 1993 








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Eidson, College of Arts & Sciences, Adelphi Univeristy , 
Garden City, NY 11530. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE board of directors now accepting 
resumes for Executive Director of NY State media arts 
membership oig. Works w/ membership-elected board, 
staff & membershipcommittees to develop and facilitate 
collaborative services; promote work of members; 
advocate for media arts field. Must have skills in network- 
ing, communication, fundraising, fiscal management; 
offer experience in ind. media arts & able to work w/ 
diverse constituency. Send resume to: Search Committee, 
Media Alliance, 356 W. 58th St, NY, NY 10019. 

SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE seeks to fill half-time, 
tenure-track position to teach filmmaking as part of 
liberal arts curriculum. Candidate should have ability to 
teach both beginning & advanced classes & indiv. as 
well as group studies. SLC is a small liberal arts college 
located north of NYC. Send resume & 3 letters of 
reference (films not requested at this stage) to : Janet 
Held, faculty secretary, SLC, Bronxville, NY 10708. 
Women & people of color encouraged to apply. 

WORLD CONGRESS ON BIOMEDICAL COMMUNI- 
CATIONS announces call for participation. Organized 
by medical imaging & communication societies from 
around world, conference expected to draw professionals 
from media production, computer graphics, etc., to 
address the theme of Global Images in Health & Science. 
Deadline: June 1993. For abstract entry form, contact: 
World Congress Meeting, Professional Conferences, 25 
Mauchly, Ste 305, Irvine, CA 92718; (714) 753-8680. 

Publications 

CENSORSHIP & FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS: A 
PRIMER incl. collection of case studies & cases w/ 
listing of anti-censorship orgs & section on defending 
1st Amendment rights. Send $10 to: American Book- 
sellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression, 560 
White Plains Rd, Tarrytown, NY 10591. 

CRITICAL ESSAYS ON GERMAN CINEMA, anthology 
being edited for R. Gottesman & H. Geduld's Critical 
Essays on Film Series, seeks papers. Papers analyzing 
film texts of German cinema from silent period to 
present welcome, as are metacritical elaborations of 
these films &/or theoretical frameworks. Deadline: July 
1 . Send new papers or published articles to both: Kirsten 
Thompson, 103 St Mark's Park, #5C, New York, NY 
10009 & Terri Ginsberg, 80 Central Park West, #15H, 
New York, NY 10023. 

DIRECTORY OF WOMEN'S MEDIA, 16th edition, 
announces new feminist information tools. Published 
by Women's Institute for Freedom of Press, directory 
incl. brief descriptions of over 1 ,300 print & electronic 
media, publishers, bookstores, libraries, archives, 
distributors & other media resources for, by & about 
women. National Council for Research on Women, 47- 
49 E. 65th St, New York, NY 10021; (212) 570-5001 . 

DISC MAKERS GLIDE TO MASTER TAPE PREPA- 
RATION avail, free upon request from Philadelphia- 
based audio manufacturer. 45-page booklet, revised & 
updated for 1992. explains how to prepare master tape 
for error-free mass prod. All formats covered, including 
all-new section on DAT. Contact: Tony van Veen, (800) 
468-9353. 

FILMMAKERS COOPERATIVE announces 1993 
Catalogue #7 Supplement, 30th anniversary edition. 
Cooperative archives & rents lgst number of ind. & 



48 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



avant-garde films & videotapes in world. Filmmaker's 
Cooperative. 1 75 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 1 00 1 6; 
1 21 2i889-3820. 

GRIFFITHIAN A: JOL RN AL OF FILM HISTORY. Italian 
journal devoted exclusively to study of silent cinema & 
animation, features work of film scholars & archivists 
from around world. Articles in both English & Italian. 
S18/individuals. S40Anstirutions. Avail, from Johns 
Hopkins University Press. To subscribe, call Darla 
Dmitri (410) 516-6944. 

GL IDE TO PUBLIC TELEVISION FUNDING published 
by Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help producers 
understand program funding. Send SASE (#10envelope) 
to: Who Funds PT\ '?, CPB Publications. 90 1 E. St NW. 
Washington. DC 20004-2006; (202) 879-9600. 

IN HER OWN IMAGE: Films & Videos Empowering 
Women for Future, singled out as best new media 
publication of 1992 by American Film & Video Assoc., 
features reviews of more than 80 works exploring wide 
range of issues affecting women around world, indexed 
by geography, subject, title & appropriate audience. 
Includes essays on int'l women's issues & uses of media 
for social change in community & classroom. Avail. 
from Media Network, (212) 929-2663. 

MEDIATING HISTORY: THE MAP GUIDE TO l\ DE- 
PENDENT VIDEO by & about African American. Asian 
American. Latino & Native American people. Edited by 
Barbara Abrash & Catherine Egan. Invaluable guide to 
multicultural historical videos incl. annotated list of 1 26 
works; insightful essays by film scholars & programmers: 
overviews by media critics on media & teaching of 
history: alternative media directory: thematic & 
chronological indices. 200 pgs. S 1 2.95 paper/S30 cloth. 
Avail, from New York University Press. 70 Washington 
Square S.. New York. NY 10012; (212) 998-2575; fax: 
(212)995-3833. 

NAMAC offers 1 992 memberdirectory , up-to-the-minute 
compilation of resource & contact info relevant to media 
arts, community, cultural & educational orgs & 
mediamakers. Incl. descriptions of 1 32 media arts centers 
w/ org history, mission, budget, collections, 
demographics of audiences & artists, facilities, 
publications, etc. Send check payable to NAMAC for 
S25 nonmembers/S 1 2 NAMAC members to: NAMAC. 
1212 Broadway, Ste 816, Oakland, CA 94612. 

Resources ■ Funds 

ARTSLIN'K supports creative exchange btwn US & 
Eastern European, former Soviet & Baltic countries. 
Collaborative Projects provides support for US artists 
undertaking collaborations with colleagues in region. 
Fellowships allow US arts orgs to host an artist or arts 
manager from the region in short-term residency. 
Deadline: April 5. Contact: Artslink. Arts & Media 
Programs. Citizen Exchange Council. 12 W. 31st St, 
New York, NY 10001-4451; (212) 643-1985. 

CREATIVE TIME sponsors projects by visual & 
performing artists as part of ongoing City Wide series. 
Goal to bring art to untapped sites in NYC. No deadline; 
proposals reviewed every 3-4 mo. Send 5 copies of 
project description: description of desired public site; 
technical assessment, incl. consideration of vandalism, 
security, projects material stability & utilities description; 
resumes of all participants; budget; up to 10 slides of 
past work of each participant w/ accompanying 
descriptions; 1/2" or 3/4" video of past work, no longer 



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HETUJORKS 



1993 HflMflC National Conference 

CO SPONSORED BY AIVF • JUNE 3-6, I 993 • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 

REWIRING OUR HETUJORKS will challenge and examine the relationships between 
independent media artists • organizations • community • institutions • funders. It 
is about building connections, assessing our missions, and redefining ourselves as 
artists and administrators. 

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE 

»-Plenaries & panels looking at the past, present & future of the media arts; how to 

make our work survive; technology as opportunity for independent media 
>■ Screenings of local & national independent makers 
>- Progressive dinner featuring Chicago area media arts centers 
>* Hands-on workshops such as: 

• Funding nuts & bolts • Raising money for documentary productions 

• Desktop video demo • Marketing your work 

• Advocacy training • Non-profit board development 

• National Consumer Electronic Show passes for preregistrants 



I would like to receive more information about 

Organization 

Name 



Address 
City 



State 



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Phone 



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Return to N A M A C • I2I2 Broadway • Suite 8I6 • Oakland, CA 946 1 2 or call 5 1 0.45 1. 27 1 7 



APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 49 



3/4" VIDEO & POST PRODUCTION 



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than 5 min.. w/ explanatory notes; sketches & drawings 
to clarify proposal & SASE to: Creative Time, 131 W. 
24th St, New York, NY 1001 1-1942; (212) 206-6674; 
fax:(212)255-8467. 

FILM IN THE CITIES Regional Film/Video Grants for 
residents of MN, ND, SD, WI & IA awards Production 
Grants up to $16,000 for new projects; Completion 
Grants up to $7,000 for works-in-progress & Encour- 
agement Grants up to $3,000 for indivs w/ promise but 
limited directing experience. Commercial & instructional 
projects & f/t students & orgs ineligible. Deadline: April 
30. For appl., contact Film in the Cities (612) 646-6 1 04. 

FILM PRESERVATION PROGRAM, joint program of 
Nat'l Endowment for Arts & Nat'l Center for Film & 
Video Preservation at American Film Institute, awards 
grants to help orgs preserve & restore films of artistic or 
cultural value. Tax-exempt orgs can apply. Must have 
archival film collection, adequate staff & equipment to 
carry out project. Grants are matching, generally less 
than $25,000. For appl. & info, contact: AFI/NEA Film 
Preservation Program, National Center for Film & Video 
Preservation at AF1, John F. Kennedy Center, 
Washington, DC 20566; (202) 828-4070. 

FIRST FILM FOUNDATION, charitable foundation based 
in London, offers assistance, expertise & contacts in A/ 
V industry for new talents w/ 1st film project for TV or 
cinema. All genres, incl. animation. Contact: First Film 
Foundation, Canalot Production Studios, 222 Kensal 
Road, London W 1 5BN, England; (44) (8 1 ) 969 5 1 95; 
(44) (81) 960 63 02. 

FULBRIGHT PROFESSIONAL FILM & TV FELLOW- 
SHIP offers professional mediamakers an opportunity to 
pursue extended work in the UK in 1994-95. Minimum 
3 yrs professioanl experience & US citizenship required. 
Applicants design program of creative work, combining 
professional & artistic work w/ contributions to 
community (e.g., workshops, lectures, etc.). Proposals 
of a purely academic nature ineligible. Awards £ 1 2,000 
& travel expenses for 6-9 month stay. Deadline: August 
1. For appl., contact: (202) 686-7878 & leave message. 
For info, contact: Dr. Karen Adams (202) 686-6245 or 
Ms. Jane Mangan (202) 686-6242 or write to UK Film 
& TV Fulbright Award, CIES, 3007 Tilden St, NW, Ste 
5M, Box F-UKF, Washington, DC 20008-3009. 

HANOVER SQUARE Prods 1993 Feature Film Screen- 
play Competition is accepting appls. Awards $20,000 
each to a maximum of 5 writers. All genres, but must 
have commercial viability. Deadline: June 1 . For appl., 
send SASE to: Feature Film Screenplay Competition c/ 
Hanover Square Productions, 7510 Sunset Blvd. Ste 
241, Los Angeles, CA 90046. For info, contact John 
Edwards (310) 288-6326. 

INDO-US SUBCOMMISSION on Education & Culture 
offers long-term (6-10 months) & short-term (2-3 
months) awards for 1994-95 research in India. All 
disciplines, exceptclinical medicine, eligible. Applicants 
must be US citizens w/ Ph.D. or comparable professional 
qualifications. Those w/ limited or no prior experience 
in India especially encouraged to apply. Deadline: Aug. 
1. For appl. or info., contact: Council for lnt'1 Exchange 
of Scholars, 3007 Tilden St, Ste 5M, Box INDO-NEWS, 
Washington, DC 20008-3009; (202) 686-4017. 

INTER-MEDIA ARTS CENTER offers local graphic 
artists w/ experience in 3-D animation and 2-D graphics 
free access to equipment for participation in collabor- 
ative arts projects. Org. has 3/4" A/B/C/D roll computer, 
chroma-key, computer graphics & 3-D animation 



50 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



The Association 
of Independent 
Video and 
Filmmakers 



Kh 



HE INDEPENDENT 

lembership provides you with a year's 
ubscription to The Independent. Pub- 
shed 10 times a year, the magazine is 
\ital source of information about the 
^dependent media field. Each issue 
elps you get down to business with 
?stival listings, funding deadlines, ex- 
ibition venues, and more. Plus, you'll 
nd thought-provoking features, 
overage of the field's news, and 
;gular columns on business, techni- 
al, and legal matters. 

HE FESTIVAL BUREAU 

JVF maintains up-to-date information 
n over 650 national and international 
^stivals. and can help you determine 
'hich are right for your film or video. 

icdson Service 

JVF works directly with many foreign 
a stivals. in some cases collecting and 
hipping tapes or prints overseas, in 
ther cases serving as the U.S. host to 
isiting festival directors who come to 
review work. 

'ape Library 

lembers can house copies of their 
wk in the ATVF tape library for 
creening by visiting festival program- 
lers. Or make your own special 
creening arrangements with ATVF. 

^FORMATION SERVICES 

distribution 

i person or over the phone, AIVF can 
rovide information about distributors 
nd the kinds of films, tapes, and 
larkets in which they specialize. 



hen you join the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, you're doing something for yourself — and for 
others. Membership entitles you to a wide range of benefits. 
Plus, it connects you with a national network of independent 
producers. Adding your voice helps us all. The stronger ATVF 
is, the more we can act as advocate for the interests of inde- 
pendents like yourself — inside the corridors of Washington, 
with the press, and with others who affect our livelihoods. 



& Senefcte <*£ 1fCe«K&&tA£tfi 



ATVF's Member Library 
Our library' houses information on dis- 
tributors, funders. and exhibitors, as 
well as sample contracts, funding ap- 
plications, budgets, and other matters. 

SEMINARS 

Our seminars explore current busi- 
ness, aesthetic, legal, and technical 
topics, giving independent producers a 
valuable forum to discuss relevant 



BOOKS AND TAPES 

ATVF has the largest mail order catalog 
of media books and audiotaped se- 
minars in the U.S. Our list covers all 
aspects of film and video production. 
And we're constantly updating our 
titles, so independents everywhere 
have access to the latest media infor- 
mation. We also publish a growing list 
of our own titles, covering festivals, 
distribution, and foreign and domestic 
production resource guides. 

continued 




AIVF 

625 Broadway 
9th floor 
New York, NY 
10012 



ADVOCACY 

Whether it's freedom of expression, 
public funding levels, public TV. 
contractual agreements, cable 
legislation, or other issues that affect 
independent producers. AIVF is 
there working for you. 

INSURANCE 

Production Insurance 

A production insurance plan, tailor- 
made for AIVF members and cover- 
ing public liability, faulty film and 
tape, equipment, sets, scenery, 
props, and extra expense, is avail- 
able, as well as an errors and omis- 
sions policy with unbeatable rates. 

Equipment Insurance 
Equipment coverage for all of your 
equipment worldwide whether owned 
or leased. 

Group Health, Disability, and Lite 
Insurance Plans with TEIGIT 

AIVF currently offers two health 
insurance policies, so you're able to 
find the one that best suits your 
needs. 



Dental Plan 

Reduced rates for dental coverage are 
available to NYC and Boston-area 
members. 

DEALS AND DISCOUNTS 

Service Discounts 

In all stages of production and in most 
formats. AIVF members can take ad- 
vantage of discounts on equipment 
rentals, processing, editing services, 
and other production necessities. 

Nationwide Car Rentals 

AIVF membership provides discounts 
on car rentals from major national 
rental agencies. 

Mastercard Plan 

Credit cards through the Maryland 
Bank are available to members with a 
minimum annual income of $18,000. 
Fees are waived the first year. 

Facets Multimedia Video Rentals 

ATVF members receive discounts on 
membership and mail-order video 
rentals and sales from this Chicago- 
based video rental organization. 



Rates 

(Canada. Mexico. US, PR) 

J S25/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 
J $45/indi\idual 

J S75/library 

J SlOO/nonprofit organization 

J S150/business & industry 

J Add S18 for 1st class mailing 



Foreign Rates 

(Outside North America) 

□ $40/student (enclose copy of 

student ID) 

□ $60/individual 

□ $90/library 

□ $1 15/nonprofit organization 

□ $165/business & industry 
J Add $55 for foreign air mail 



Name 



Organization 

Address 

City 

State 



Zip. 



Country _ 
Telephone 



Professional Status (e.g.. dir.) 
92 



Enclosed is check or money order. 
Or. please bill my: □ Visa 

Q Mastercard 

ACCOUNT # 
EXPIRATION DATE 

SIGNATURE 

Charge by phone: (212) 473-3400. 



Join ATVF today and get a one-year subscription to The Independent. 



fee* /4W? 7<x0zy m 

Five thousand members strong, 
the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers has been 
working for independent produc- 
ers — providing information, fight- 
ing for artists' rights, securing 
funding, negotiating discounts, 
and offering group insurance 
plans. Join our growing roster. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual membership 

10 issues of The Independent 
Access to all plans and discounts 
Festival/Distribution/Library service 
Information services 
Discounted admission to seminars 
Tape and publication discounts 
Advocacy campaign participation 
Free Motion Picture Enterprises Guide' 
Vote and run for office on board of 
directors 

■j Student membership 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except to vote and run I 
board of directors 

Library membership 

1 issues of The Independent 

Festival/Distribution/Library servicei 

Information services 

Free MPE Guide 

PLUS: Special notice of upcoming 

publications 

Nonprofit Organizational membersh 

All the benefits of individual 
membership except to vote and run I 
board of directors 
PLUS: Includes up to 3 individuals 



Business/Industry membership 

All the benefits of individual 

membership except to vote and run 1| 

board of directors 

PLUS: Special mention in The 

Independent 

Includes up to 3 individuals 



systems. Call Michael Rothbard, IMAC executive dir, 
(516)549-9666. 

JEROME FOUNDATION funds indiv. film & video 
artists living & working in NYC metro area. Appls. 
accepted any time, reviewed 3x/yr. Contact: Jerome 
Foundation. West 1050 First National Bank Building. 
332 Minnesota St. St. Paul, MN 55 1 01 ; (6 1 2) 224-943 1 . 

MID ATLANTIC ARTS FOUNDATION supports arts 
administrators through its Visual Arts Travel Fund. 
Applicants must be administrator or curator of nonprofit 
visual or media arts org. in Mid-Atlantic state. Travel 
grants awarded for 50% of documented expenses incurred 
to attend an event (max. S200). Deadline: 6 wks before 
event or dates of travel. For guidelines contact: Michelle 
Lamuniere. VAP Associate, Mid Atlantic Arts 
Foundation, 1 1 E. Chase St, Ste 2A, Baltimore, MD 
21202; (301) 539-6656. 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES 

1994-95 Fellowships support 6-12 months of fulltime, 
uninterrupted study & research that will make a 
significant contribution to the humanities. Fellowships 
awarded through 2 programs: Fellowships for University 
Teachers & Fellowships for College Teachers & 
Independent Scholars. Work on a book, monograph, 
series of articles & interpretive exhibition catalogues 
eligible. Cataloging and curating of exhibitions ineligible. 
Deadline: May 1. For appl, contact: Division of 
Fellowships. NEH, Rm 316, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave 
NW. Washington, DC 20506; (202) 606-8466. 

NEW YORK COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES Media 
Projects — pioneering effort to bring together films on 
video, filmmakers & scholars in public forums throughout 
NYC — seeks proposals for programs. Events feature 



presentations at screening by filmmaker or scholar, 
framed by talk & discussion. S350 honorarium to 
filmmaker, S250 to scholar w/ up to S 1 50 addt'l in travel 
expenses. For appl. contact: NYCH. 198 Broadway, 
10th fl. New York, NY 10038; (212) 233-1 131. 

NO BUDGET FEATURE FILM SCRIPT COMPETITION. 

20 film professionals have joined together to provide 
writer/director w/ labor & equip to produce 1st feature. 
Preproduction planning, crew & low-budget 16mm pkg 
provided to winner. Deadline: May 15. Send two copies 
of scripts w/ SASE to: Adolph Gasser. Rental Services, 
750 Bryant St. San Francisco, CA 94107. For guidelines 
& appl. info, send SASE to above address. 

O.T.O.L. VIDEO invites producers to edit projects on 
video at its Southern CA facility. Submit synopsis of 
project, cover letter describing financing plan & brief 
description of principal people involved. Sample reel 
can be submitted. For more info, contact: O.T.O.L. 
Video, 1800 Stanford St, Santa Monica, CA 90404; 
(310)828-5662. 

PENNSYLVANIA HUMANITIES COUNCIL supports 
humanities projects throughout state. Strong 
Pennsylvania connection required, either in subject 
matter or producer residence. Proposal drafts 6-8 weeks 
in advance of deadline recommended. Deadline: October 
1. For appl., contact: PHC, 320 Walnut St. Ste 305, 
Philadelphia. PA 19106-3892; (215) 925-1005. 

PHILADELPHIA FILM & VIDEO ASSOCIATION 
(PIFVA) offers subsidy program to help complete ind. 
noncommercial fiims/videos/audio works by PIFVA 
members based in greater Philadelphia area. Grants paid 
directly to facilities for lab/facility services at discounted 
rates as negotiated by artist. Avg. grant: $500; max. 




Regional Spotlight: 
CHICAGO 



Chicago politics on film 

From the 1972 Democratic convention to Carol Mosley Braun 

Feature filmmaking 

Independent productions leave the Windy City breathless 

The schools: An overview 

Schools of thought at the Art Institute, Northwestern, Columbia College, and more. 



Plus: 



The comedy connection • The underground music video scene • Art & technology 
Institutional resource list • Mediamaker profiles, and much more! 



For information on display advertising in the Chicago issue, contact 
Laura D. Davis at (212) 473-3400. 



S1.000. Deadlines: April 2; June 15. For appl., contact: 
(215) 895-6594. 

SCRIPPS HOWARD FOUNDATION Scholarships 
awarded to fulltime undergrad & grad students preparing 
for careers in communications industry. Scholarships 
range from S500 for freshmen & sophomores to $3,000 
for seniors & grad students. Call (513) 977-3035. 

TRAVEL GRANTS PILOT, joint project of NEA & Arts 
Int'l, enables artists to engage in collaborations, create 
new work, explore developments in field, etc. with 
colleagues in Africa, Latin America, Caribbean & South 
or Southeast Asia. Welcomes proposals aiming to 
strengthen links with cultures of origin or establish new 
ties with other cultural communities. Deadline: May 14. 
Grants range from $500-52,500, max $5,000. For appl., 
contact: Travel Grants Pilot, Arts Int'1/IIE, 809 U.N. 
Plaza, New York, NY 10017; (212) 984-5370. 

WESTERN STATES REGIONAL MEDIA ARTS 
FELLOWSHIPS award up to $7,000 for new works & 
works-in-progress by artists in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, 
MT. NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY & Pacific Territories. 
Deadline: June 5. For info, contact Portland Art Museum 
Northwest Film Center (503) 221-1 156. 

WOMEN IN FILM FOUNDATION FILM FINISHING 
FUND awards grants from $25-50K for completion & 
delivery of work consistent w/WIF's goals: at least 50% 
of prod personnel must be women, subject matter must 
relate to women & be of general humanitarian concern 
& must be broadcast quality for exclusive 1-yr. or 4- 
broadcast exhibition rights on Lifetime Cable. For guide- 
lines, contact: Lifetime TV Completion Grant, WIFF, 
6464 Sunset Blvd. Ste 900, Los Angeles, CA 90028. 



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APRIL 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 51 



MINUTES FROM THE AIVF/ 
FIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS 
MEETING 

The board of directors of the Association for 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 
(FIVF) met in New York on January 10, 1993. In 
attendance were: Dai Sil Kim-Gibson (chair), 
Robert Richter (president), Dee Davis (vice presi- 
dent), Debra Zimmerman (treasurer), Loni Ding 
(secretary), Joan Braderman, James Schamus, 
Bart Weiss, Ruby Lemer (ex officio); Eugene 
Alienikoff and Norman Wang (FIVF board.) 
Absent were Charles Burnett, Christine Choy, 
and Wilder Knight. 

Kim-Gibson read Choy's letter of resignation. 
First board alternate Jim Klein will replace Choy. 

AIVF administrative director Kathryn Bowser 
told the board she will work part-time beginning 
in mid-February. She will arrange for sales of the 
AIVF Festival Guide to bookstores, but publicity 
will have to wait until more money is available. 

The Independent editor Patricia Thomson re- 
viewed the magazine's marketing plan. She also 
updated the board on the new computerized bill- 
ing program for display ads, and the magazine 
staff's efforts to collected advertising debts. It 
was suggested that AIVF hire a West Coast ad rep 
on commission. 

Membership director Stephanie Richardson 
reviewed the problems with the mailhouse, which 
resulted in many AIVF members not receiving 
their December Independent. Membership has 
reached the 5,000 mark, excluding comps and 
press. The board discussed board election proce- 
dures and ways to improve the process. 

Development director Susan Kennedy updated 
the board on pending grant applications and on the 
Advancement Grant surveys, which have gone 
out to members and former members. 

Richter reported for the AIVF Advocacy Com- 
mittee on PBS's usurpation of video rights for 
programs it broadcasts and funds. Thomson re- 
ported on the meetings held regarding the Silver 
Screen development project taking place in 
Chelsea on the Hudson River piers. 

The board approved Lerner's report and plan to 
reduce the organization's debt, which involved 
staff and programmatic cuts and enhancing earned 
income activities. The proposed budget was unani- 
mously approved. 

Board elections were held, resulting in ap- 
proval of the following slate*: Zimmerman, chair; 
Kim-Gibson, president; Richter, vice president; 
Schamus, treasurer; and Weiss, secretary. 

Future board meetings are scheduled for: March 
20-21 in New York (with annual membership 



* Subsequent to the board meeting, Kim-Gibson resigned 
as president, and Richter moved up to fill the post. A new 
vice president will be elected at the March 1993 board 
meeting. 



meeting on March 19); June 5 in Chicago (tenta- 
tive), coinciding with NAMAC conference; and 
October 2 in New York (tentative). 

MEMBERABILIA 

Congratulations to AIVF members who received 
1 992 Guggenheim Fellowships: New York video 
artist Irit Batsry, Boston-based film animator and 
professor Flip Johnson, California-based film- 
maker and lecturer Nina Menkes, and California 
film animator and professor Maureen Selwood. 
Independent producer Vernon Clarke received a 
grant from the Georgia Humanities Council to 
continue work on a historical documentary. 

Kudos to our Midwestern members who re- 
ceived Media Arts Fellowships from the Center 
for New Television: Chicagoans Mahrnaz Saeed- 
Vafa, Yvonne Welbon, Loretta Smith, and Zeinabu 
. Irene Davis, plus Edward Boilini from Indianapo- 
lis, and Daniel Friedman from Yellow Springs, 
Ohio. 

North Carolina filmmaker Jeff Leighton's short 
film Goodnight, Alden won honorable mention in 
the American Film/Video Festival and the lit- 
erature category at the Birmingham Interna- 
tional Film Festival, Juror's Choice at the Caro- 
lina Film/Video Festival, a cash prize in the 
Sinking Creek Film Festival, and was a finalist 
in the Houston Worldfest '92. 

The Massachusetts Foundation has awarded 
a production grant to Catherine Russo to support 
the Boston Women s History Project, California 
member John Williams received a John McCarran 
Arts Criticism grant for SI. 000 from San Fran- 
cisco Artspace. Mara Alper received a fellowship 
from the MacDowell Colony to pursue work on 
an experimental documentary on incest. Alper 
also received a grant from the Axe-Houghton 
Foundation for a historical documentary on 
America's first woman astronomer. 

Washington, DC, member Aviva Kempner re- 
ceived a 1992 Mid-Atlantic Region Media Arts 
Fellowship grant and a grant from the National 
Endowment for the Arts for her documentary 
The Life and Times of Hank Greenherg. Van 
McElwee also received a grant from the NEA and 
the American Film Institute Regional Fellow- 
ship Program. McElwee was recently an Artist- 
in-Residence at the Experimental Television 
Center in Owego, New York. Buffalo, New York- 
based filmmaker Lawrence Brose also received a 



residency at the ETC. He was the sole filmmaker 
represented at the 1992 Sao Paulo Short Film 
Festival in Brazil, at which he lectured on US 
experimental filmmaking. 

Eight AIVFmembers garnered Southeast Film 
and Video Fellowships from Appalshop: John D. 
Allen and Scott Auerbach in Atlanta, Scott Barber 
and Callie Warner of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 
Walter Brock (Lexington, KY), Nietzchka Keene 
(Miami, FL), Doug Loggins (Decatur, GA), and 
Peter Wentworth (Charleston, SC). 

Oregon-based filmmaker Kelley Baker earned 
a certificate of merit at the Chicago Interna- 
tional Film Festival for his short You' II Change. 
Also in the Northwest, Seattle-based videographer 
Mark Dworkin received a $50,000 grant from the 
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Founda- 
tion tor Retooling America, a documentary about 
the post Cold-War conversion of the US economy 
from military to consumer production. 

Congratulations to Ken Kobland and Jeanne C. 
Finley, who were grand prize winners at the 
Montbeliard Video Festival, and to Bill Harder, 
whose video Listen to the Children: Divorce Edu- 
cation for Parents was a finalist in the 1992 
International Health and Medical Film Festi- 
val. Brooklyn's Demetria Royals was recently a 
grant from the National Black Programming 
Consortium for research and development of the 
Conjurers project, a series on African American 
artists. 

Kudos to New York member Leslie Harris on 
signing a deal with Miramax for worldwide dis- 
tribution of her first feature film, Just Another 
Girl on the IRT. 

MAIL CALL 

"/ haven't gotten The Independent in over four 
months!" 

Don't let this happen to you! If you're moving, 
call or mail us your change of address right away. 
The Independent is mailed nonprofit bulk rate 
and may not be forwarded to your new address. 
We are doing all we can to insure the safe arrival 
of your magazine. But please, don't wait! If you're 
having a problem with your subscription, contact 
us immediately! Bulk rate delivery should arrive 
by the second week of the month. For faster 
delivery, consider upgrading to first class ($18 
domestic, $55 foreign). Call (212) 473-3400. 

EASTMAN KODAK OFFERS 
AIVF MEMBERS DISCOUNT 

Eastman Kodak is offering AIVF members a 1 5% 
discount on a special allocation of Eastman color 
negative film 5247, while supplies last. To ar- 
range purchase of film at a discounted price, 
AIVF members should call Michael P. Brown, 
sales and engineering representative, Eastman 
Kodak's Motion Picture & TV Products Division 
at (212) 930-7614. 



52 THE INDEPENDENT 



APRIL 1993 



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What festivals are you missing? 



The AIVF Guide to 

International Film and 

Video Festivals 



Updated, with over 600 listings: 

• Domestic & foreign festivals 

• Complete entry information 

• Four easy access indexes 

• Plus, detailed reports that give you the 

inside scoop on festivals worldwide! 



Order your copy today! Just $29.95; AIVF member discount: $24.95. Add $3.50 for postage & 
handling. AIVF, 625 Broadway, 9th fl., NY, NY 10012; (212) 473-3400. 



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is about building connections, assessing our missions, and redefining ourselves as 
artists and administrators. 

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE 

*»Plenaries & panels looking at: the past, present & future of the media arts; how to 

make our work survive; technology as opportunity for independent media 
>■ Screenings of local & national independent makers 
>■ Progressive dinner featunng Chicago area media arts centers 
>• Hands-on workshops such as: 

• Funding nuts & bolts • Raising money for documentary productions 

• Desktop video demo • Marketing your work 

• Advocacy training • Non-profit board development 

• National Consumer Electronic Show passes for preregistrants 



! would like to receive more information about 

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LU 



irOEPENXffl 



MAY 1993 

VOLUME 16, NUMBER 4 



Publisher: 

Editor: 

Managing Editor: 

Editorial Assistant: 

Intern: 

Contributing Editors: 



Art Director: 
Advertising: 

National Distributor: 

Printed in the USA by: 



Ruby Lerner 
Patricia Thomson 
Michele Shapiro 
Ellen Levy 
Katherine Smith 
Kathryn Bowser 
Janice Drickey 
Barbara Osborn 
Karen Rosenberg 
Catherine Saalfield 
Christopher Holme 
Laura D. Davis 
(212)473-3400 
Bemhard DeBoer 
(201)667-9300 
PefCap Press 



2 THE INDEPENDENT 



The Independent is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF), 
625 Broadway, 9th fl.. New York, NY 10012, (212) 
473-3400, a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational 
foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and film, 
and by the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, Inc. (AIVF), the national trade association of 
independent producers and individuals involved in 
independent video and film. Subscription is included with 
membership in AIVF. Together FIVF and AIVF provide a 
broad range of educational and professional services for 
independents and the general public. Publication of The 
Independent is made possible in part with public funds 
from the New York State Council on the Arts and the 
National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement by The Indepen- 
dent does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are 
not responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

The Independent welcomes unsolicited manu- 
scripts. Manuscripts cannot be returned unless a 
stamped, self-addressed envelope is included. No 
responsibility is assumed for loss or damage. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require written 
permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. ISSN 
0731-5198. The Independent is indexed in the 
Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 1993 

AIVF/FIVF STAFF MEMBERS: Ruby Lerner, executive 
director; Kathryn Bowser, administrative/festival bureau 
director; Stephanie Richardson, program/membership di- 
rector; Susan Kennedy, development director; John 
McNair, administrative assistant. 

AIVF/FIVF LEGAL COUNSEL: Robert I Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF BOARDS OF DIRECTORS: Eugene Alein 
ikoff, * Joan Braderman, Charles Burnett, Christine Choy, 
Dee Davis, Loni Ding (vice pres.), Ruby Lerner (ex officio), 
Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, W. Wilder Knight II, Robert Richter 
(president), James Schamus (treasurer), Norman Wang,* 
Barton Weiss (secretary), Debra Zimmerman (chair). 

* FIVF Board of Directors only 

MAY 1993 



CONT 





COVER: Jimmy (Peter Greene) plays with a 
stolen hand gun in Nick Gomez's Laws of 
Gravity. According to film critic David 
Ehrenstein, a new generation of filmmakers 
has made violence the focus of their films. 
But while critics have repeatedly made 
reference to Martin Scorsese when 
reviewing the work of Quentin Tarantino, 
Abel Ferrarra, and Gomez, the link is more 
apparent man real, contends Ehrenstein. 
Also in this issue. The Independents editors 
travel to Utah and Berlin in search of 
1993's most promising films. Photo 
Catherine McGann, courtesy RKO Pictures. 



26 FEATURES 

Not Ready for Crime Time? 

by David Ehrenstein 

4 LETTERS 

5 MEDIA CLIPS 

Sacramento Sacrilege: California Arts Council Struggles to Survive 

by Barbara Osborn 

Native American Producers Form Alliance 

by Michelle Yasmine Valladares 

Indies Send Reminders to Videofinders 

by Tony Palazzo 

Passin' It On Director Files Claim against NYPD 

by Michele Shapiro 

Sex Is... Not for L.A. Film Lab 
by Janice Drickey 

Polish TV Seeks Western Product 

by Paulita Sedgewick 

Cultural Watchdog Unleashed 

by Wendy Determan 

14 TALKING HEADS 

Robert Rodriguez, director: El Mariachi 

by Elizabeth Larsen 

Ang Lee, director: The Wedding Banquet 

by Michele Shapiro 

Gary Rhine, producer: Native American Relations 

by Christopher Davidson 

Zhang Yimou, director: The Story of Qui Ju 

by Patricia Thomson 

IRS Releasing, distributor 

by Jordan Elgrably 

Emile Fallaux, festival director: The Rotterdam Film Festival 

by Howard Feinstein 

22 LEGAL BRIEFS 

Slicing up the Rights Pie: TV Licensing Deals for Documentaries 

by Robert L. Seigel 

31 FIELD REPORTS 

Bearing All at the Berlinale: The Berlin International Film Festival 

by Michele Shapiro 

A Berlin Studio with Money and Talent to Spare 

by Gordon Hitchens 

Z-Place to Be: The Sundance Film Festival 

by Patricia Thomson 

41 IN AND OUT OF PRODUCTION 

by Ellen Levy 

43 FESTIVALS 

by Katherine Bowser 

45 CLASSIFIEDS 

48 NOTICES 

52 MEMORANDA 



MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 3 



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CHERRIES JUBILEE 

To the editor: 

The Independent's recent feature by Laura U. Marks on 
Ken Jacobs' XCXHXEXRXRX1XEXSX ["Here's Gazing 
at You: A New Spin on Old Porn Exposes Gender and 
Generation Gaps," March 1993] is insightful in its 
analysis of the ways in which reactions to that film 
reveal diverse positions with respect to feminism, por- 
nography, pop culture, and the practices of a certain 
generation of avant-garde filmmakers. 

I believe, however, that Marks may have overstated 
the extent to which feminist and avant-garde agendas 
overlap. Both are interested in disrupting certain norms, 
whether patriarchal or narrative. Certainly Jacobs' dis- 
section of this fragment of footage is open-ended enough 
to invite any number of readings, sympathetic and 
hostile, puritanical and liberated, feminist and anti- 
feminist. Marks' essay is admirable in its effort to situate 
Jacobs' formal experiment in the context of any number 
of theoretical and political debates. In this sense, she has 
met the challenge that Constance Penley and Janet 
Bergstrom posed in the magazine Screen to move criti- 
cal writings on experimental film beyond the merely 
canonical and celebratory, and, to use Marks' words, to 
"rehistoricize the avant-garde." 

But it would be a mistake to say that the film is 
concerned with these power relations, for although it 
may stimulate a thoughtful viewer like Marks to an 
analysis of these issues, XCXHXEXRXRXIXEXSX plays 
with time, space, motion, the flicker — in other words, 
with a number of the formal properties of film. There is 
a distinction to be made between a text that critiques the 
asymmetrical power relations we find in the world and 
a formalist one, which is then positioned in a social and 
historical context by a perceptive writer. 

Jesse Lerner 
Los Angeles, CA 



pony, Inc. BBC is o registered trodemork for the 



<VBC, Inc. NBC is a 
:ostmg Corporation. 



ERRATA 

In Ingalisa SchrobsdorfPs article "On the 
Outs with Oscar," which appeared in the 
March 1993 issue, a quote by Bruce Davis, 
executive director of the Academy of Mo- 
tion Picture Arts & Sciences, was accidently 
attributed to Academy president Robert 
Rehme. The quote should read as follows: 
"Certainly people will get upset if you break 
their rice bowls," Davis said, and added that 
it may not be what anyone wants, but it is 
possible "an era of movie history has ended." 



4 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



MEDIA CLIPS 



SACRAMENTO SACRILEGE 

California Arts Council Struggles to Survive 



Triaging his way through the state's worst finan- 
cial crisis, California Governor Pete Wilson sug- 
gested novel surgery early this year: cut off the 
California Arts Council (CAC). 

In January, Wilson proposed "privatizing" 
CAC, calling for a 50 percent cut in next year's 
$12.7-million budget and zero funding the follow- 
ing year. Privatization, Wilson argues, would 
permit the establishment of revenue-generating 
programs so the Council could continue to fund at 
least some of its activities, including arts in edu- 
cation and educational grants programs, on a self- 
sustaining basis. 

One month later acompromise plan was agreed 
to that has the support of both the Governor's 
Office and CAC, led by Wilson appointee Joanne 
Kozberg. The "funding realignment plan" calls 
for a 20 percent funding cut in FY 93-94 and a loss 
of two-thirds of CAC's 1991 funding (S15.8-mil- 
lion) over the next three years. Elimination of the 
Arts Council, a plan that has considerable support 
in the state assembly (two bills were introduced 
into the legislature last year calling for CAC's 
elimination) was avoided. 

For film and video organizations, CAC's fi- 
nancial support amounts to only six percent 
($318,000) of CAC's total organization support 
grants, and the Council provides meager funding 
to the state's media organizations. Film Arts Foun- 
dation, for instance, with a $600,000 budget, gets 
just three percent of its funding ($18,000) from 
CAC. Typically, CAC media grants are under 
$10,000. Visual Communications, for instance, 
received $9,500 in FY 93, which amounts to just 
over three percent of its $300,000 annual budget. 
Linda Mabalot, executive director of Visual Com- 
munications, reports that reduced funding prima- 
rily affects them by inhibiting growth in staff and 
production. 

Susan Hoffman, executive director of Califor- 
nia Confederation of the Arts (CCA), a nonprofit 
organization that advocates for the arts, says that 
although the current plan is better than Wilson's 
initial proposal, it has the same ideological thrust: 
privatize CAC. Indeed, the plan calls for the 
establishment of an Arts Fund to allow CAC to 
generate supplemental revenue from income-gen- 
erating programs. The first such project is a spe- 
cial interest license plate. Beginning in March. 
California car owners can purchase an "arts li- 
cense plate" designed by artist Wayne Thiebaud 
for an extra $20. CAC hopes to raise $2-million 
through the program. Other plans under discus- 



sion include sales of posters, lithographs, T-shirts, 
and coffee mugs with the Thiebaud design. 

Julie Mackaman, development director at Film 
Arts Foundation, says the real issue is "a political 
and ideological question. What is the public's 
responsibility to nurture, support, and encourage 
the art that is not yet collected by museums — like 
multicultural arts? Especially in California with 
its demography, we need to have a vision of art 
that stands outside the marketplace." 



ever, is the economic argument. Many legislators 
don't believe in the revenue-generating impact of 
public arts dollars, Hoffman says. "If we have a 
sustained conversation we can usually win people 
over, but some people would prefer not to know." 

BARBARA OSBORN 

Barbara Osborn is a Los Angeles-based journalist 
who writes about film, television, and technology. 



STATE 



ARTS 



But the philosophical argument is unlikely to 
gain converts in the crisis atmosphere of Sacra- 
mento. The Confederation is urging its 1,300 artist 
and organizational members to contact their leg- 
islators and ask that the Arts Council be treated 
like other general fund agencies that have been 
told to expect a 15 percent cut. CCA is also hoping 
that public support will be boosted by an Ad 
Council campaign designed for the National Cul- 
tural Alliance, which begins this spring and will 
promote the idea that the public gets something 
out of the tax dollars appropriated to the state 
humanities and arts councils. The most persuasive 
case to be made for government support, how- 



The 

California 
Arts Council's 
"funding 
realignment 
plan" calls for 
a loss of two- 
thirds of 
CAC's 1991 
funding over 
the next three 
years. 



NATIVE AMERICAN 
PRODUCERS FORM 
ALLIANCE 

The first Native American Producers Conference, 
held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in November 
1990, brought together film and television pro- 
ducers who shared concerns about the lack of 
Native American participation in productions 
about Native America. Subsequent gatherings in 
199 1 , 1 992, and during the Two Rivers and Dead- 
wood Film Festivals in January 1993 have led to 
the creation of the Native American Producers 
Alliance, an organization committed to fostering 



MAY 1993 



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The newly formed Native 
American Producers 
Alliance is headed by Ava 
Hamilton, director of the 
documentary Everything 
Has a Spirit (pictured). 

Courtesy filmmaker 



a new atmosphere of awareness that will provide 
more opportunities for Native American produc- 
ers, directors, writers, technicians, and talent. 

The alliance, currently in the midst of a mem- 
bership drive, has members from over 15 tribal 
nations. Its coordinator is Ava Hamilton (Arapa- 
ho), an independent filmmaker from Boulder. 
Colorado, who recently completed a half-hour 
documentary Everything Has a Spirit. 

'"We are committed to the development of 
young talent, the strengthening of media services 
for Native producers, and the perpetuation of the 
tribal sovereignty." says Hamilton. "We see some 
individual Indians being given a few token jobs 
[in the industry], but not in key creative posi- 
tions." She likens Hollywood's practices in the 
1990s to treatymaking times in the mid- 1800s 
when individual Indians were bought off with 
blankets in exchange for gold and land. The alli- 
ance. Hamilton adds, represents a united response 
to the irresponsible appropriation of tribal stories, 
ceremonies, and songs, and aims to ensure the 
integrity of the indigenous perspective. 

The immediate goals of the alliance include 
raising money for a Native producers' conference 
in the fall of 1 993, the Year of Indigenous Peoples, 
and raising the level of awareness regarding the 
exclusion of Native voices in the media. 

Specifically, the alliance is concerned about 
the exclusion of experienced Indian producers 
and directors from a few national productions that 
address Native American issues. According to 
Hamilton, "these include two series projects un- 
derway, one by Turner Broadcasting and the other 
by Kevin CostnerforCBS, as well as individually 
funded CPB documentaries and a documentary 
series [executive] produced by Robin Maw." 

When contacted about her series, Indian 
America, Robin Cutler Maw stressed that her co- 
executive producer, Dave Warren, is from the 
Santa Clara Pueblo and that all of the nine-part 
series will be written and produced by teams of 
Indian professionals. The series, funded by the 



NEH in conjunction with at 
least three other founda- 
tions, focuses on the Makah 
Indian nation and shooting 
for the pilot will begin this 
August in Washington state. 
Still, members of the al- 
liance are out to put an end 
to the "blanket diplomacy" that major production 
companies and funding agencies now use to jus- 
tify Native participation. By writing letters and 
arranging meetings with producers, the alliance 
hopes to address these issues and offer its assis- 
tance. 

The formation of the alliance parallels a similar 
movement on an international level. At the Dream- 
speakers Festival in September 1 992 in Edmonton. 
Canada, the First Nations Film and Video World 
Alliance was created during meetings of indig- 
enous peoples [see "Dreaming with Eyes Open: 
The First Nation's Dreamspeakers Festival," Janu- 
ary/February 1993]. "We see our organization as 
the U.S. counterpart and hope to work on interna- 
tional collaborations." Hamilton says. "As inde- 
pendent Native American filmmakers, we have 
full appreciation of our value in the current media 
marketplace. We are brought together by the 
common goals of advocacy, creativity, and loy- 
alty." 

Future initiatives include developing media 
training and resources, promoting young talent, 
addressing copyright and intellectual property 
rights as they apply to tribes, and maximizing 
opportunities for Native American-initiated 
projects. The alliance seeks to network with inter- 
ested individuals and organizations. 

For more information, contact Ava Hamilton, 
coordinator, Native American Producers Mem- 
bership, 6393 S. Boulder Rd, Boulder, CO 80303; 
(303) 494-8308. 

MICHELLE YASMINE VALLADARES 

Michelle Yasmine Valladares works and lives in 
New York City and San Francisco. 

INDIES SEND REMINDERS TO 
VIDEOFINDERS 

Some independent video producers and distribu- 
tors recently forced the hand of PBS affiliate 
KCET in Los Angeles, causing the station to 



include their titles in a video locating service from 
which they had previously been excluded — al- 
though the service was advertised as comprehen- 
sive. 

The flap began in September 1 989 when KCET 
began advertising a service called VideoFinders, 
which urged viewers to call a 900-number to 
locate more than 70,000 video titles. The service 
promised: "If it's available, we can find it for 
you." 

VideoFinders ran an ad in Pipeline, the news- 
letter of the Independent Media Distributors Alli- 
ance (IMDA). The ad asked independents to send 
in their catalogues. So, in February 1991, Ben 
Achtenberg. whose Boston-based Fanlight Pro- 
ductions specializes in videos for libraries and 
schools, did so. Achtenberg. an IMDA executive 
committee member, expected his titles to be 
listed — but they weren't. 

Last fall, after being tipped off by a customer 
who had called VideoFinders but received no 
information on Fanlight titles, Achtenberg con- 
ducted some research of his own and found that 
none of Fanlight's titles, including Code Gray: 
Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing, which was nomi- 
nated for an Academy Award, were listed, and 
listings for several other independents were either 
incorrect, incomplete, or omitted. 

To make matters worse, operators on the line, 
who charge callers S2 for the first minute of 
information and $1 per minute thereafter, never 
let on that their files might be incomplete. 

Achtenberg says he was concerned that the 
service was misleading callers. "The response we 
got from their operators was that anyone who was 
calling about films, if they were not listed, was 
given the impression that [the films] do not exist," 
he says. 

Some calls by Achtenberg and others to KCET's 
director of distribution and licensing Dick Cook 
resulted in a partial change for the better. 

After Achtenberg notified IMDA's members, 
whom he says number between 40 and 50 small- 
to medium-sized independent distributors, Cook 
was contacted by several independents wanting to 
have their videos listed. Cook says he's taken 
steps to accomodate the independents, including 
hiring someone for full-time data entry to add 
some 6,000 independent titles to the commercial 
database that makes up the bulk of his listings. 

Cook says that bad publicity about 900-num- 
bers in general has caused the volume of calls to 
VideoFinders to drop steadily over the past two 
years, and now the station plans to switch to a toll- 
free 800-number. (The bulk of revenues gener- 
ated from the lines, he says, comes from the sale 
of the 200 or so tapes KCET distributes.) Under 
the new system, which Cook says is still being 
formulated, independents will pay KCET to have 
their titles added to the database. 

Cook says in retrospect he would have changed 
the VideoFinders slogan to read: "If it's available 
we can help you find it." 

Achtenberg, however, sees the whole episode 



MAY 1993 



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Producers and distributors interested in having 
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base should call Dick Cook at (213) 953-5540. 

TONY PALAZZO 

Tony Palazzo writes for The Bergen Record in 
New Jersey. 

PASSIN' IT ON DIRECTOR 
FILES CLAIM AGAINST NYPD 

A year has passed since a series of riots and 
looting sprees broke out in South Central Los 
Angeles shortly after the verdict in the Rodney 
King trial was announced. Although word of the 
verdict, criticized by many as unjust, spread like 
a brushfire across the U.S. and overseas, few 
heard the story of a New York-based filmmaker 
who had his own run in with injustice on the same 
evening. 

John Valadez, 27, has filed a $2-million claim 
against the New York Police Department ( NYPD ) . 
Valadez say s a police officer harrassed, assaulted, 
and falsely arrested him on the evening of May 1 , 
1992, while he was videotaping footage for pos- 
sible use in Passin' It On, a documentary he 
directed about the rise of the Black Panther move- 
ment in the late 1960s. 

"A big part of the film was about police brutal- 
ity and I thought of incorporating the King verdict 
into it," Valadez says. "After the verdict was 
announced, there was such a feeling of tension in 
New York City," he recalls. "I rented a camera and 
headed downtown to see what I would find." 

With his eye to the lens, Valadez captured 
images of a few overturned cars and some shat- 
tered store windows in lower Manhattan. He con- 



tinued north to Broadway and Fourth Street, where 
rows of police officers stood within a barricaded 
area. According to Valadez 's claim, an officer 
bumped into the filmmaker, knocking him down. 
Valadez's attorney. Ron Kuby, says the officer, 
later identified as Daniel Farkas, construed the 
incident as an assault and proceeded to pin the 
5'4", 123-pound filmmaker to the ground, tie his 
hands behind his back, and confiscate his video 
camera. As Farkas arrested Valadez and led him 
to a nearby paddy wagon, he bent the filmmaker's 
fingers back, causing them to swell. 

"I was never read my rights or allowed to make 
a phone call," says Valadez, who is of Latino 
descent. "And if I would have been black, I'm not 
sure I would be alive today." The filmmaker was 
released from prison nearly 24 hours after the 
incident occurred. 

One year later, all of the charges brought against 
the filmmaker, including harrassment, blocking 
traffic, and resisting arrest, have been dropped. 
The rented camera, however, has yet to be re- 
turned. 

"Initially, all we wanted was a replacement 
camera and an apology," Kuby, a civil rights 
lawyer, says. But when repeated attempts failed, 
Kuby filed a claim with the city in July 1992. The 
claim requests SI -million in compensatory dam- 
ages, which include physical and emotional 
trauma, assault, and harrassment, as well as Si- 
million in punative damages against Officer 
Farkas. 

Kuby says that due to the mountain of police 
brutality cases in New York, the city usually 
chooses to settle claims rather than have the cases 
go to trial. "The going rate for one day of false 
imprisonment is around S 10,000," he says, adding 
that he anticipates a response to the claim some- 
time around July 1993. 

Valadez, who last May allegedly received a 
bitter taste of the brutality that many of his docu- 



While filming Passin' It On, director 
John Valadez experienced 
firsthand the police brutality that 
the subject of his documentary, 
Dhoruba Bin Wahad (center), was 
subjected to for many years. 

Photo: Juliana Beasley, 
courtesy First Run Features 



mentary subjects have encountered, now has 
greater concerns than the cash award he may 
eventually receive. "Ironically, a large part of 
Passin' It On deals with how the government and 
police can block the dissemination of informa- 
tion," he says. "The footage I got on that night will 
never be seen. Once again, the police succeeded." 

MICHELE SHAPIRO 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of The 
Independent. 

SEX IS... NOT 
FOR L.A. FILM LAB 

A Los Angeles film lab' s unstated company policy 
against transferring films with images deemed 
pornographic nearly cost two San Francisco 
producers a chance to premiere their documentary 
on gay male sexuality in the 1993 Berlin Interna- 
tional Film Festival. 

"There is sexually explicit material, but it's all 
done within context," explains San Francisco 
filmmaker Marc Huestis, director and coproducer, 
with Lawrence Helman, of Sex Is..., an 80-minute 
documentary on the meaning of sex and sexuality 
in the lives of gay men within the context of the 
AIDS crisis. Huestis, 38, is perhaps best known 
for Coming of Age, a film he describes as one of 
the first AIDS documentaries "with a gay voice," 
shown in over 30 film festivals. 

"There's no gratuitous sex in Sex Is..." he 
continues. "It's all illustrating what people are 
talking about. For example, in a section about 
safer sex, when someone's talking about the need 
to re-eroticize the condom, there is a montage of 
images using condoms in oral sex, anal sex, mas- 
turbation.... To have somebody sit and talk about 
it is really different than to have somebody discuss 
it and then to see these really vital, wonderful 
images of men having sex with condoms." 

Helman, who is making his producing debut 
with Sex Is..., explains that throughout the docu- 
mentary are four-second shots — totalling less than 
a minute of screen time — from old male porno 
films which were left "very archival-looking, 
scratched and discolored" to illustrate discussions 
of intimacy, relationships, pornography, gender, 
race, and a host of other issues relating to the lives 
of gay men. 

After six months of negotiating the details of a 
three-color separation, tape-to- 16mm film trans- 
fer of Sex Is... with Image Transform, a 20-year- 



MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 9 



Gay sex is verboten at 
Image Transform, an L.A. 
lab that turned away Sex 

Is... due to its sexually 
explicit content. 

Photo: Daniel NicoleMo, 
courtesy filmmakers 




old film lab in L.A., the filmmakers learned from 
company vice president Robert Bailey on the day 
of the transfer that certain scenes were found to be 
"objectionable" and that the $12,000 job was 
being turned down. 

"Our company policy is that we do not show 
any penile erections or insertions of any kind," 
Bailey said, repeating the phrase six times during 
a terse, eight-minute phone interview from his 
L.A. office. "The company's policy is very clear 
on this," he added. Asked whether that policy was 
written down anywhere or had been communi- 
cated to the filmmakers before the day of the 
transfer, Bailey faltered, "That 'sour internal com- 
pany opinion... no... I'm not going to answer that 
question." 

The filmmakers say the policy was "never 
discussed" up to and including the day Helman 
brought the work into the lab. "It came as this huge 
blow to my solar plexus," Helman, 37, recalls. "I 
didn't know where these people were coming 
from." Helman said he was told by Bailey that 
certain scenes would be offensive to employees 
who were Born Again Christians and to several 
women in the lab, a statement Bailey denies 
making. "Their bottom line," says Helman, "was, 
re-cut it; if we like what you've done, we'll 
transfer it." 

With less than two weeks before the Berlin 
International Film Festival, the panicked film- 



makers began the search for a lab that could do a 
high-quality component transfer comparable to 
Image Transform's. Three of the four labs recom- 
mended by Bailey were either unwilling or unable 
to do the job. A fourth allowed scenes of female — 
but no male — frontal nudity. 

A frantic 24 hours after Image Transform turned 
down Sex Is..., Helman was shipping the master to 
Film Craft, a lab in Detroit, Michigan, which 
screened the project and initially said it would 
have to "pass" on doing the transfer. 

"I felt like Lenny Bruce." Helman remembers. 
"I couldn't believe this was going on, especially in 
towns where porn is so open, so available. The 
dichotomy to me seemed so incongruous." 

The filmmakers deluged the Detroit lab with 
lists of their sponsors and advisors and with press 
material on the film, trying to change the owner's 
mind. Film Craft reluctantly agreed to do the job 
after receiving a phone call from Linda Hansen of 
the New York Foundation for the Arts, who 
vouched for the film and the filmmakers' charac- 
ter. When Helman picked up the film, he discov- 
ered that the lab, which had originally asked not to 
have its name associated with Sex Is..., had a 
change of heart and had attached their academy 
leader, with the company's name and phone num- 
ber, to the finished product. 

Helman says he hoped that publicizing the 
incident would not distract audiences from the 



serious issues tackled by the documentary, which 
will be shown the week of May 21 at the Castro 
Theater in San Francisco. "It's much more impor- 
tant that filmmakers know that [Image Transfer], 
which thinks it has a monopoly on this process, is 
calling what people can or cannot put in their 
films," says Helman. "That's completely out of 
line." 

JANICE DRICKEY 

Janice Drickey is a writer living in northern 
California. 

POLISH TV SEEKS WESTERN 
PRODUCT 

Poland, long considered a stagnant backwater of 
the entertainment industry, is rapidly coming to 
life. Last year 1 00 films were shot there, including 
many foreign productions. This year mega-direc- 
tor Steven Spielberg, driven away by demonstra- 
tions from his original plan to shoot Schindler's 
List in Auschwitz, plans to film in and around 
Warsaw. Most important, by mid-summer the 
state's government monopoly of television will 
be history. 

There are now two national channels in Poland, 
both of which are controlled by the government. 
There is also a third licensed channel, Echo, which 
airs in southwest Poland, and Polsat, which trans- 
mits in Polish via satellite from Holland. Al- 
though the state forbids other broadcasts, they 
exist in the form of "pirates": illegal channels that 
transmit tapes which have not been paid for on 
local frequencies. Due to the lack of hard currency 
throughout Eastern Europe, pirating is common 
practice. 

To resolve this chaotic state of affairs, the 
Polish government decided recently to end its 
monopoly. A new broadcasting bill has been 
passed, giving any interested parties until July 1 , 
1993, to file for a license. The Radio and Televi- 
sion Communication Agency will then award 
frequencies. These will be legal and subsidized by 
advertisers. 

Among the many companies vying for control 
of the several new independent channels is Arathos, 
an independent Polish production and distribu- 
tion company. Artur Dela, president of Arathos, 
spoke to The Independent at the Monte Carlo T. V. 
Market about future plans for his cable channel, 
ATV, which has since received a thumbs up from 
the Polish government. 

By contacting European and U.S. indepen- 
dents as well as the majors and offering co- 
production and other financial incentives, Dela 
hopes to achieve a varied and contemporary pro- 
gramming mix. He is looking now primarily for 
arthouse films from both Europe and the U.S. 

For independent film- and videomakers inter- 
ested in working on projects in Poland, ATV 
could be a dream come true. "I would be happy to 
represent them in Eastern Europe," Dela says. "I 
am interested in coproducing and cofinancing 



10 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 




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with foreign filmmakers and am willing to put up 
half the budget on condition that the films are shot 
in Poland using our studios and our technicians." 
Dela adds that production costs in his country are 
one quarter of those in the States or Western 
Europe. 

Much of Arathos' income comes from produc- 
ing animated series for television. Dela is also 
trying to entice Western distributors into invest- 
ing in Eastern European theatrical distribution by 
collaborating with him in the purchase of a dozen 
Polish cinemas in which to show independent 
films. 

Arathos currently distributes several films 
dubbed in Polish, including all of Spanish director 
Carlos Saura's works. But he is interested in 
acquiring new product, particularly with a view to 
programming the new Polish channel. "My ambi- 
tion," Dela concludes."is to uphold the great cre- 
ative potential existing in Poland today." 

Those interested in contacting Artur Dela 
should write to him at: Arathos. 47 rue de Baby- 
lone, 75007 Paris, France, tel: 33-45-55-2840. 

PAULITA SEDGEWICK 

Paulita Sedgewick is a London-based filmmaker 
who is in the process of selling her first feature 
film, Blackout. 

CULTURAL WATCHDOG 
UNLEASHED 

In the 1950s George Gerbner. a communications 
professor at the University of Pennsylvania, started 
noticing a trend: most of the narrative fabric of a 
community's life was determined by the mass 
media. Children no longer related stories told by 
grandparents, churches, or even their own parents 
with the same degree of fluency as they related 
stories that were coming at them from television 
and the mass media. After studying and writing 
for 40 years about what he felt was an escalating 
trend. Gerbner became compelled to do some- 
thing as a citizen. 

In 1990 Gerbner formed the Cultural Environ- 
ment Movement (C.E.M.). Its directive: "To stop 
the homogenization of the mass-produced and 
marketing-driven media environment." Since then 
Gerbner has enlisted the support of many existing 
media awareness organizations both in the States 
and abroad. Participating groups include the Cen- 
ter for Media Education in Washington, DC, the 
Institute for Global Communications in San Fran- 
cisco, the Institute of the Social Communication 
Sciences in Rome, and the International Associa- 
tion of Mass Communication Research in the 
Netherlands, as well as a range of smaller, com- 
munity-inspired grassroots organizations. 

"The beauty of Gerbner's vision for the move- 
ment is that it is so inclusive," says Kay Weldon, 
who has recently merged her 100-member com- 
munity group, Message to the Media, with C.E.M. 
and has also become C.E.M. 's secretary. "Gerbner 
invites and encourages members of the industry to 
join," says Weldon. "He believes that everyone in 



all fields and walks of life needs to be part of the 
dialogue." 

Gerbner says that film- and videomakers, more 
than any other group, are being pressed into best- 
selling formulas. This, he adds, is a central prob- 
lem that his group is trying to address. 

If it all sounds a bit broad and far-reaching, in 
truth it is. Gerbner's message could hardly be 
termed precise. His vision seems to extend across 
the entire gamut of human existence. He can list 
countless examples of what he says are "damag- 
ing, demeaning, and discriminating" messages 
that the mass media is propagating — violence 
against children and ethnic groups in television, 
sexist ads that run in magazines, cigarette adver- 
tising that helps to ki 11 thousands, movies with gay 
bashing tendencies... 

Gerbner says he wants to build a constituency 
that includes independent film- and videomakers 
because they are often aware of the mass media's 
shorthcomings. 

Weldon 's own concerns about the role of the 
media began when she worked as a mental health 
nurse for Delaware's Guidance Services for Chil- 
dren and Youth. "I became aware that kids were 
listening to new voices," Weldon says. "The com- 
mercial pop culture had given these kids distorted 
world views. I grew concerned that these children 
would have no thoughtful, mature models to turn 
to for guidance." 

Imagine the scene in the movie Network, in 
which anchorman Peter Finch encourages every- 
one watching his show to go to their windows and 
scream out. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to 
take it anymore," and you'll have some idea of 
C.E.M. 's ultimate goal. "I somehow believe the 
CEO's of major global communications corpora- 
tions will hear us and begin to weigh the gains of 
Wall Street against cultural disaster," says Gerbner. 

The exact means by which Gerbner and C.E.M. 
plan to affect change in the media industry is, at 
this time, rather sketchy. C.E.M. is beginning to 
plan a large-scale conference in Washington. DC, 
which will take place in two years, where con- 
cerned individuals can gather to discuss media 
awareness. The organization also hopes to obtain 
funds through private donations to begin putting 
out a newsletter. Weldon is certainly no novice to 
the difficulties of fundraising. "Message to the 
Media had to be run out of my home. We never 
had any real money. Even though people are 
interested and aware, it's difficult to get them to 
give," she says. "C.E.M. needs a more formal 
structure, a financial support group. Seed money." 
In other words. C.E.M. 's survival depends on a 
large infusion of folding green. 

Those interested in contributing to or learning 
more about the organization should contact George 
Gerbner at (215) 898-6776. 

WENDY DETERMAN 

Wendy Determan writes frequently on arts and 
culture for publications including Details, Allure. 
and the Village Voice. 




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MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 13 



Robert Rodriguez 

DIRECTOR 
El Mariachi 

He has none of the traditional Hollywood trap- 
pings. Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, 24, is 
very savvy about the fickle, one-minute-you're- 
hot, the-next-minute-you're-not nature of the film 
business. He had his first brush with fame a few 
years ago, when he won numerous awards for one 
of his short films. Despite the accolades, Rodriguez 
remained unsure of his ability to make decent 
feature-length films. And he had no funding. So 
the young director and Carlos Gallardo, a friend 
since their junior seminary boarding school days, 
devised a plan: they'd sink a couple thousand 
dollars into a practice film and sell it directly to the 
Spanish home video market. Working this way, 
they'd be able to make films in relative obscurity 
until they were good enough to emerge out of 
nowhere and sidestep the very public learning 
curve many young filmmakers have to endure. 

Their first practice film turned out to be El 
Mariachi, a quirky, mistaken-identity adventure 
about a naive guitar player who arrives in a small 
Mexican town at the same time as a hit man — who 
also is carrying a guitar case. A cross between 
QuickDraw McGraw and Mad Max, the Spanish- 
language film won this year's Audience Award at 
Sundance. It also snagged Rodriguez a two-year 
writing/directing contract with Columbia, which 
released it theatrically in February. Rodriguez 
holds up the film, made for only $7,000, as an 
example of the creative challenges and benefits of 
low-budget filmmaking. 

To finance the film, Gallardo, who played the 
mariachi, sold some land his father left him in 
Mexico. Rodriguez himself wasn't exactly rolling 
in saleable commodities. The son of a nurse and a 
door-to-door cookware salesman and one of 10 
children, he was still a film student at the Univer- 
sity of Texas at Austin. To raise money, he checked 
into an Austin-based pharmaceutical testing pro- 
gram. 

One month later he walked out with S3, 000, 
lower cholesterol, and a finished screenplay, com- 
pleted during the spare time between tests. To 
keep costs down, he'd developed the script around 
things he already had at hand. "If I wrote in a 




Courtesy Columbia Pictures 

helicopter, I'd have to find a helicopter," Rodriguez 
explains, "But Carlos had a great pit bull, and we 
had a school bus, a motorcycle, two cars, and a 
ranch. So I wrote the script around them." 

Rodriguez also wrote the script around the guy 
in the bunk next to him at the research center, who 
became the bad-guy gringo. "We were both a little 
down on our luck," Rodriguez admits. "Everyone 
has their big dreams about what they're going to 
do when they walk out of the hospital. When we 
told people that we were going to make a movie, 
they all said, 'Yeah, right.'" 

Nothing else about the film came easily either. 
Like the fact that the research center roommate 
(who, like the rest of the cast, had never acted 
before) spoke no Spanish and had to be fed his 
lines phonetically before each take. Or that Gal- 
lardo, the mariachi, couldn't sing or play the 
guitar. Or that they couldn 't afford to rent a dolly, 
so they had to borrow a wheelchair from a neigh- 
boring hospital (and get it back in time for an 
incoming patient). 

The Arriflex camera Rodriguez borrowed was 
so old and noisy he was forced to shoot the entire 
film without sound and overdub the dialog with a 



microphone bought from Radio 
Shack. The overdubbing in turn 
resulted in problems with the 
synching of the dialog. Neces- 
sity led to solutions like pressing 
the pit bull into service as an 
extra for some reaction shots. On 
top of all that, he only had two 
250 watt lights (the kind con- 
struction workers use) to light 
his makeshift sets. "Well," Rodri- 
guez laughs, "that's why there's 
the low-key, moody lighting." 

Rodriguez's laid-back attitude 
about his filmmaking war stories 
reflects his less-is-more philoso- 
phy: "I heard Martin Scorsese 
say that making a movie is a 
terrible experience," he muses, 
"because all day people are ask- 
ing you thousands of questions, 
from 'Should this be black or 
blue?' to 'What do you want for 
lunch?' to 'Where should I put 
the camera?' and you can't even 
think. But since I was the crew, I 
didn't have anyone asking me 
anything. I was able to concen- 
trate on everything from the cos- 
tume changes to what I had shot four or five days 
before and keep it all in my head. Working that 
way makes you very decisive. Without all those 
people around, you just go and get the shot — 
creatively, your mind works very fast. If you can 
keep up with it physically, you can come up with 
some really good stuff." 

ELIZABETH LARSEN 

Elizabeth Larsen is associate editor ofVtne Reader 
and a freelance writer. 



Ang Lee 

DIRECTOR 
The Wedding Banquet 

Blink and you could miss him. Ang Lee's cameo 
appearance in The Wedding Banquet is fleeting. 
But when, as one of hundreds of merrymakers 
who attend the film's pivotal banquet scene, he 



14 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



remarks between sips of rice wine that the 
boisterious atmosphere reflects 5,000 years of 
sexual repression, Lee captures the essence of his 
first full-length feature in a single sentence. 

"All emotions that the Chinese don't usually 
show come out at these banquets," the Taiw anese- 
born director explained from the V.I.P. Press 
Lounge at the Berlin International Film Festival, 
where in February The Wedding Banquet, a 
coproduction of Taiwan's Central Motion Pic- 
tures and New York-based Good Machine Pro- 
ductions, competed against 24 features for the 
festival's highest honor: the Golden Bear. Unfazed 
by the buzz surrounding his film's world pre- 
miere, Lee, 40, dressed in a sports jacket, tie, and 
cotton trousers, remained unassuming and 




Courtesy filmmaker 

softspoken as the members of his cast looked on 
from a nearby table. 

"The banquets provide a mixture of absurdity, 
comedy, and touching moments," the director, a 
1984 graduate of New York University's Tisch 
School of the Arts, continued. The festival's jury 
must have thought the rest of the film did, too. The 
distinguished panel awarded The Wedding Ban- 
quet one of two Golden Bears given out at this 
year's ceremony. In what many have dubbed 
"The Year of the Far East," Lee's picture shared 
the honor with another Chinese film, Xie Fei's 
The Woman from the Lake of Scented Souls. 

Filmed entirely in New York City, The Wed- 
ding Banquet centers on Taiwanese-born Wai- 
Tung Gao, a shrewd real estate investor and Ameri- 
can citizen who would live happily ever after in 



Manhattan with his lover, Simon, if only his 
parents back in Taiwan would get off his case 
about marrying a nice Chinese woman and giving 
them a grandchild. To put an end to their nagging. 
Simon comes up with a solution: Wai-Tung should 
mam Wei-Wei, a young tenant who is behind on 
her rent and desperate for a green card. No one, 
however, anticipates the weight of Chinese tradi- 
tion in such matters, and when Wai Tung's par- 
ents head to New York for the wedding celebra- 
tion, the white lie evolves into a full-fledged farce. 
Since the script, which Lee cowrote with Neil 
Feng and James Schamus. deals so sensitively 
with the main characters' gay relationship, some 
may be surprised that Lee, who lives in the Man- 
hattan suburb of White Plains with his wife and 
two children, is not gay. The 
idea for the script, said Lee, 
came more than six years ago 
from a friend. "At the time, I 
didn't think there was enough 
interesting material for a fea- 
ture film," said Lee. So in the 
meantime, he wrote and di- 
rected Pushing Hands, a 90- 
minute feature about a Tai 
Chi master in search of self 
respect. The film won three 
Golden Horse Awards in Tai- 
wan, including a special jury 
prize for Lee's direction. "But 
when it hit me. I wrote The 
Wedding Banquet script very 
quickly." 

Of the gay subject matter, 
Lee said: "A lot of people 
warned me I was walking on 
a mine field. But the more I 
worked with the actors, the 
more I started to believe in 
the love and common emo- 
tions [the characters] shared. 
By the time we shot the film, 
I was totally comfortable." 
Apparently the Taiwanese 
Censorship Bureau approved 
of Lee's sensitive handling; 
it gave the film a PG rating, 
which Lee considers "a big step" for a country 
where "there is no history of guys kissing on the 
screen." 

Some of the film's funniest moments, how- 
ever, are autobiographical, such as the scene in 
which Wao-Tung and Wei-Wei opt for a shotgun 
wedding at City Hall over a formal ceremony. 
"Two weeks before my wedding I was still shoot- 
ing my thesis film at NYU," Lee recalled. "Every- 
one in both our familes had big weddings except 
us. It was a shame. Such a shame." 

Subject matter aside, the director took a big risk 
by casting Winston Chao. an airline steward and 
model who had never acted in a film before, as 
Wao-Tung. Lee, himself an actor-turned-director 
who received a B .F. A. in theater from the Univer- 
sity of Illinois after moving to the U.S. in 1978. 



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subject to availability. 



MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 15 



admitted his choices were limited: "'It's hard to 
find a good actor who is charming, speaks English 
and Mandarin Chinese, and doesn't mind portray- 
ing a gay character." 

Because the film's under SI -million budget 
was less than one-fortieth the cost of some of its 
Berlin competitors, including Malcolm X and 
Hoffa, Lee had to be creative when selecting 
locations: with the help of a few umbrella-skewered 
tables, a public pier was transformed into a chic 
outdoor eatery, and the luxurious wedding night 
hotel suite was really a dolled-up meeting hall at 
the Church of Unification. 

Lee also enlisted the support of Manhattan's 
Chinese community, which supplied everything 
from food and costumes to hundreds of extras for 
the banquet scene. In exchange, Lee agreed to 
serve as a judge at the annual Miss Chinatown 
pageant. "It was far more difficult than directing," 
Lee quipped. 

The director's next project, a film about a 
famous chef and his three daughters, will take him 
to Taipei. Although both Pushing Hands and The 
Wedding Banquet won national script competi- 
tions in Taiwan, Lee said he will be relieved to 
direct someone else's work. "Writing is tough," 
he added. "I would much rather concentrate on 
directing." 

MICHELE SHAPIRO 



Gary Rhine 

PRODUCER 

Native American Relations 

Gary Rhine, a Jewish San Franciscan who once 
made his living publishing books, now spends his 
time working closely with the Native American 
spiritual movement. As head of Kifaru Produc- 
tions, he produced the award-winning documen- 
tary Wiping the Tears of Seven Generations ( 1 992 ) 
and Peyote Road ( 1993), both codirected by Yaqui/ 
Cheyenne filmmaker Fidel Moreno. These two 
videos kick off a six-part series Rhine is produc- 
ing that focuses on American Indian issues. 

Wiping the Tears of Seven Generations, Rhine ' s 
first collaboration with the Lakota, tells the story 
of the Bigfoot Memorial Ride of 1990. In the 
middle of a South Dakota winter when tempera- 
tures reached - 80°, 300 Lakota riders retraced the 
path taken by Chief Bigfoot and his band in the 
days preceding the Wounded Knee Massacre of 
1890 and the conquest of the Lakota by the U.S. 
Army. The memorial ride brought the Lakota 
nation out of a century of mourning and an- 
nounced to the Western world that the Lakota 
culture had survived. 

Rhine, who was old friends with a number of 
Indian activists, first became involved in Wiping 
the Tears after he was asked by Alex Whiteplume 
and Arvol Lookinghorse, organizers of the Me- 




Courlesy videomaker 

morial Ride, to come along and videotape the 
event. When he returned to San Francisco with 
piles of footage, Rhine was put in touch with Fidel 
Moreno, who had interviewed the members of the 
Wounded Knee Survivors' Association. Moreno 
and Rhine decided to combine their efforts. "Ba- 
sically, as a non-Indian," says Rhine, "the best I 
could hope for was to be an accurate vehicle to tell 
someone else's story — to make it so the film- 
maker is transparent." 

Moreno and Rhine worked collaboratively with 
their subjects. During preproduction, Rhine cir- 
culated his script to a dozen Lakota leaders, ask- 
ing for feedback. Again during postproduction, 
the rough-cut was circulated for comments to all 
participants. Both Moreno and Rhine had re- 
nounced release forms on the assumption that 
they would show interviewees the rough edit and 
ask them if they'd been fairly represented. They 
did a fair amount of reediting as a result. 

In keeping with the Lakota oral tradition in 
which elders pass on the tribal stories, Rhine and 
Moreno asked a grandmother in her sixties, Hannah 
Left-Hand Bull Fixico, to narrate Wiping the 
Tears. "When the Lakota sit down and listen to 
their grandmothers," Rhine explains, "nobody 
has the slickness of professional actors." Ironi- 
cally, PBS rejected the documentary on the grounds 
that "the narration is not up to national broadcast 
standards." As Rhine noted, "It sounds like they 
would have only been willing to air the program if 
the narrator had a British accent." Rhine and 
Moreno were vindicated when the Disney Chan- 
nel and its subsidiary, the Canadian Family Chan- 
nel, bought the piece for a series on American 
history. 

Wiping the Tears was followed by Peyote 
Road, which looks at the use of the peyote cactus 
in a Native American Church ceremony. For 



many years, the 300,000-member Church had an 
understanding with the Federal Drug Administra- 
tion that, in accordance with the American Indian 
Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA), natives would 
be free to use peyote in purification rituals despite 
its hallucinogenic properties. The video recounts 
how the State of Oregon successfully challenged 
AIRFA in a Supreme Court case on the grounds of 
"compelling State interest." According to the rul- 
ing, U.S. criminal law against the use of hallu- 
cinogenics takes precedence over the religious 
freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Pro- 
duced in collaboration with Native religious free- 
dom movement leaders, the video seeks to chal- 
lenge the Supreme Court's view by describing the 
use of peyote from a Native perspective. Lobby- 
ists have taken a 15-minute version to Capitol Hill 
to educate Congress about AIRFA. 

Rhine is currently in preproduction on Red 
Road to Sobriety, which will be codirected by 
Chante Pierce (Cherokee/Cheyenne). The pro- 
gram will examine how the Native American 
sobriety movement is blending the techniques of 
Alcoholics Anonymous with Indian spiritual ritu- 
als. Next will be a history of U.S. treaties with the 
Native nations and how a Congressional proposal 
to abdicate those treaties in 1 978 led to the largest 
Pan-American protest in history: the Longest Walk, 
in which hundreds of Native leaders walked from 
Oakland, California, to Washington, DC. 

Rhine hopes to complete the series by the end 
of 1994. In the meantime, he's self-distributing 
the completed works. At this time, there is no 
television deal for Peyote Road. "It may be a little 
too controversial for mainstream TV," he says. 

Rhine takes care to distinguish his series from 
the $10-million extravaganza on Indian history 
that Kevin Costner is putting together for CBS. 
"Costner's series stops at the Wounded Knee 



16 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



Massacre," he points out. "Contemporary pro- 
grams like that leave Native cultures dead in the 
last century. They allow us to treat Indians like 
cartoons and keep up our sports teams with names 
like the Washington Redskins. All our programs 
deal with contemporary issues, because we see 
Indian culture as vital and alive today. We've tried 
from the outset to make our productions represent 
the Indian people." 

CHRISTOPHER DAVIDSON 

Christopher Davidson lives in New York and 
writes about film and education. 



Zhang Yimou 

DIRECTOR 
The Story of Qui J u 

"In the past, Chinese films were too much the 
handmaiden of politics," insists Zhang Yimou, 
who at age 42 has become the most famous and 
highly regarded of China's Fifth Generation film- 
makers. "Younger filmmakers like myself want to 
put aside that role for films. We really want films 
to be works of art and not instruments of political 
propaganda." 

Zhang ' s historical dramas Red Sorghum ( 1 988 ), 
Ju Dou ( 1 990), and Raise the Red Lantern (1 99 1 ) — 
all tales of women struggling 
against their proscribed so- 
cial and domestic roles in 
China's strict patriarchal and 
feudal society — are aestheti- 
cally breathtaking. Initially 
trained as a cinematographer, 
Zhang deploys a formal clas- 
sicism in his compositions 
that restrains the smoldering 
emotions and sensuality of 
his characters. 

Zhang's latest work, The 
Story of Qui Ju (1992), 
couldn't be more different. 
"It's a new departure, with a 
new theme and new style," 
he readily admits through a 
translator. "The film was in- 
spired by true peasants in 
China." Zhang knows the 
countryside well, having 
spent 10 years during the 
Cultural Revolution in the 
stark, remote province of 
Shaanxi, where Qui Ju was 
shot. "I opted for a different 
approach, because the sim- 
plicity of peasants moves me. 
I wanted no embellishments. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



I wanted to portray the life of the peasant in a very 
naturalistic, realistic way." 

While not political in the social realist sense, 
the Hong Kong-financed Qui Ju is Zhang's first 
film to directly address life in contemporary China. 
The story follows a pregnant farmer named Qui Ju 
as she attempts to seek justice for her husband 
after he is kicked in the groin by the village chief 
and rendered impotent. She would be content with 
an honest apology, but the arbitrator decides on a 
cash settlement. When Qui Ju comes to collect, 
the village chief throws the money on the ground 
in a display of contempt. "For each one you pick 
up," he declares, "you bow your head to me." 

Qui Ju storms off and begins her series of 
appeals which lead her up the judicial ladder. The 
story's tension lies in the discrepancy between 
Qui Ju's idea of "what is right" and that of the 
justice system. "They're not on parallel tracks," 
observes Zhang. "She wants one thing, but the 
legal system is moving in another direction." In 
the film's denouement when justice is served, 
"there's a puzzled expression on her face. The 
whole system has gone off in its own direction, 
and she's baffled by the outcome. There's some- 
thing very Chinese in that," says Zhang, smiling. 

Qui Ju's naturalism springs from its quasi- 
documentary approach. Zhang employed only 
four professional actors. The rest are ordinary 
people playing themselves — villagers, lawyers, 
cadres, and judges. In addition, many scenes were 
shot using hidden cameras. Chinese are caught 
unaware on the crowded streets or inside a provin- 




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cial legal office, where we see squabbling neigh- 
bors argue before an arbitrator. A young couple 
applying for a marriage license giggles self-con- 
sciously as the cadre tries to determine whether 
theirs is an arranged marriage. 

"These were actual people having those dis- 
cussions," Zhang recalls. "We put up an old 
wooden crate days before, so they'd get used to it. 
Then at some point the cinematographer would 
climb into the box. There's a little hole he'd shoot 
through. We also hid the microphones in places 
people wouldn't notice, like a stove-pipe. We 
didn't tell the cadres when we'd be shooting. 
Their instruction was, 'Don't pay attention to us; 
just do what you usually do.'" 

One of the most fascinating portraits in QuiJu 
is that of the legal system itself, which operates 
quite differently in the country and city. The 
peasants have neither courts nor formal written 
laws. Their judicial system is still based on the 
family and how it resolves conflicts. "In a coun- 
tryside village," Zhang explains, "if two people 
have a problem, they're called together and sit 
around a little stove where it's nice and warm, and 
each person speaks their side. A mediator then 
says, 'You do this and that, you pay him so much 
money,' and it's all fixed." He continues, "In the 
city, it becomes much more formal, where you 
have a lawyer and go to court." But, Zhang adds, 
"this story really isn't about Chinese law; it's 
about an individual who is searching for people to 
respect her." 

Chinese women, who have adored the roles 
played by lead actress Gong Li in Zhang's earlier 
films, seem to like this headstrong character even 
better, the director says. But it's only recently that 
Chinese audiences have gotten familiar with 
Zhang's body of work. Both Ju Dou and Red 
Lantern were banned by the government. When 
the ban was lifted, 10,000 people showed up for/w 
Dow's opening in Shanghai. The overwhelming 




response leaves the director visibly gratified. He 
recalls, "There was an article by a theater manager 
who said attendance for these two films saved his 
theater." 

While Zhang now has an easier time with 
exhibition, he still has to jump through the hoops 
of story censorship. On this point, it makes no 
difference whether his films are produced in or 
outside the Chinese studio system. Foreign capital 
can raise production values, but all scripts must go 
through the same approval system. "Even the 
foreign production companies have to negotiate 
with the Chinese government," says Zhang. The 
changes requested are often too integral to the 
story to bother with a rewrite. Zhang recalls one of 
his scripts being rejected because it was "too 
grim." 

At the moment, Zhang is enjoying a respite 
from official disapproval. Two years ago, Chi- 
nese officials tried to yank Ju Dou from the 
Academy Awards competition. This year, in a 
complete turnabout, they submitted Qui Ju for 
consideration. Political officials also reportedly 
attended the party for Qui Ju at the Venice Film 
Festival. "Honestly, I don't understand it," Zhang 
says of this change. "It's a better situation than last 
year; it is becoming more liberal. I hope this will 
continue. Only in a liberal atmosphere can good 
films be made." 

PATRICIA THOMSON 



I.R.S. Releasing 

DISTRIBUTOR 

Miramax and New Line/Fine Line, companies 
that have long commanded attention as the lead- 
ing producers and distributors of independent 
film, must now share the spotlight with a third 
contender: I.R.S. Media, the parent corporation of 
I.R.S. Productions and I.R.S. Releasing and the 
offspring of Miles Copeland and Paul Colichman. 
the pair who brought you I.R.S. Records. If you 
remember, I.R.S. was probably the leading indie 
record label in the 1980s, with artists like Police, 
R.E.M., and Fine Young Cannibals. 

After a string of small pictures, I.R.S. got 
noticed in a big way last year with its release of 
Allison Anders' Gas, Food, and Lodging. There 
was also the very off-beat One False Move, di- 
rected by Carl Franklin and produced by Colich- 
man, and Stacy Cochran's much lauded My New 
Gun. I.R.S. 's latest projects are the just-wrapped 
Bankrobber, by first-time British director Nick 
Mead, and The Music of Chance, the first dramatic- 
feature directed by veteran documentarian Philip 
Haas. Chance, which Colichman describes as "an 
existential art movie," premiered at this year's 
New Directors/New Films festival in March and 
will open theatrically in mid-spring. 

Colichman, I.R.S. 's president, is an enthusias- 
tic Angeleno who got his start at a young age 



18 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



producing the Joan Rivers Show for Fox Televi- 
sion. After a number of years in the recording 
business, he and Copeland. hungering for a new- 
challenge, launched I.R.S. Productions in 1987. 
"As we did with the record company, we started 
out not risking a lot of money, but taking some 
great creative risks." Colichman relates. "Some 
paid off. some didn't. We grew, we created a 
niche, and over time we've become, really, the 
noted production/distribution company in lower- 
budget, quality American independent films." 

Colichman has already produced 22 features 
with I.R.S. . 15 of them by first-time directors. 
These days I.R.S. is knocking off an average of six 
to seven pictures a year, all with budgets between 
S 1 .5- and S2.5-million. No script development is 
done at I.R.S.. which has offices in Los Angeles. 
New York, and London. Most screenplays come 
through a manager, agent, or lawyer, says Colich- 
man, or from "people who are really persistent." 

How does I.R.S. go about recruiting directors? 
"How don't we?" Colichman wonders good- 
naturedly. "We have our spies, we go to every film 
school in the country, we attend every film festi- 
val possible. We take a lot of first-time directors 
based on screenplays that are submitted to us." As 
for Carl Franklin, whom Colichman recruited to 
shoot One False Move, "We were interested in a 
black director for the project. We looked to see 
who was out there, and there weren't a lot of 
candidates, unfortunately.... Carl had actually done 
a couple of films for Roger [Corman], and they 
show he has talent, even on Roger's ridiculous 
budgets. For somebody who's career building, we 
like it when directing a film for us is a step up." 

After a few years, I.R.S. 's distribution division 
grew out of its production activities. Executive 
vice president Seth Willenson says. "Our movies 
are unique in regard to style and purpose. They're 
smaller and edgier, and so the company ultimately 
felt it had to get involved in controlling its own 
destiny and the distribution of its movies." Thus 
I.R.S. Releasing was created in 1991. 

Although the company primarily tends to re- 
lease its own films. I.R.S. is occasionally inter- 
ested in distributing other low-budget projects. 
"We're production-oriented, not acquisition-ori- 
ented," explains Colichman. "if I see a film that I 
think is really special, I will acquire it because I 
love it, but not for business reasons." He ex- 
pressed some interest in ready-made documen- 
tary projects and stresses that good scripts break 
the rules, 'i want films with an edge, with some- 
thing to say. They can be of any genre: we're very 
open. Some will be extraordinarily artistic — The 
Music of Chance is one of them; some will be 
more commercial and mainstream. But all have 
something special going for them." 

Says Lilli Rouleau, I.R.S. 's director of creative 
affairs, "We're not competing with studios, we're 
making films that people want to see in America 
that they can't get from cable, or just general video 
schlock, or the studios. Classic American cin- 
ema." Rouleau, who receives an average of 50 to 
60 scripts a week, continues, "We're fighting the 

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fight, doing the independent thing. We like to 
work with people who have a philosophy similar 
to ours, not people who try to get their films made 
for S40-million at a studio and can't, then come 
here and say. Til make itfor$2-million.' It never 
works out. They have to have an independent 
mind, they have to want to make their picture for 
S2-million, because some pictures turn out better 
that way." 

JORDAN ELGRABLY 

Jordan Elgrably is a repentant film critic who has 
written for the International Herald Tribune. 
Liberation. El Pais, and the L. A. Times, and wrote 
and produced the short film Aberration. 



Emile Fallaux 

FESTIVAL DIRECTOR 
Rotterdam Film Festival 



Interviewing Emile Fallaux, now in his second 
year as director of the Rotterdam Film Festival, is 
no light chore. He is a politically enlightened, no- 
nonsense Dutch documentarian and journalist who 
has always eschewed glibness for such heavy 
subject matter as the CIA. His manner is direct and 
rational, he deflects attention from his own ac- 
complishments, and he is al- 
ways on top of the question. 
Fallaux ' s progressive poli- 
tics colored every aspect of 
this year's festival (January 
28 to February 7), its 22nd 
incarnation since it was 
founded by the late Hubert 
Balsin 1972. "I mistrust con- 
sensus in any form," Fallaux 
says. "We try to have as many 
voices as possible in the fes- 
tival." He initiated the sec- 
tion "Limits of Liberty," com- 
prising films made under 
threat of censorship in vari- 
ous parts of the world, which 
this year included Children 
of Fate from the U.S. From 
this, the foundation FilmFree 
emerged. Fallaux envisioned 
FilmFree's task as one of 
overseeing human rights vio- 
lations against filmmakers. 
Being too large a problem for 
the festival to handle alone, 
he successfully enlisted the 
aid of PEN, the international 
literary writers' association, 
and FIPRESCI, the interna- 
tional film critics' organiza- 
tion. The board of Human 

Rights Watch, however, Photo: Folkert Helmus, courtesy Rotterdam Film Festival 



turned down his proposal. Then in early February, 
Fallaux discovered that Human Rights Watch had 
inaugurated such a program, "but without includ- 
ing us." It is a measure of his strength and convic- 
tion that he adds, "It doesn't matter, as long as it 
happens." 

Less a man of spectacle than of substance, 
Fallaux extends his commitment to cinema far 
beyond the mere projection of 180 features and 
numerous shorts for a festival audience; he be- 
lieves in activism through aiding production and 
promotion. He is continuing the Hubert Bals Fund 
and CineMart, both initiated by his predecessor 
Marco Mueller. The Bals Fund provides financ- 
ing based on need for script development, produc- 
tion, and distribution, but only to filmmakers in 
developing countries; U.S. minorities are ineli- 
gible. ("I would be for it. I started a campaign to 
send food to famished minorities in the U.S. when 
Reagan and Charlton Heston were urging Ameri- 
cans to send food to Poland in the early eighties.") 
CineMart, under the direction of Wouter Baren- 
drecht and Janette Kolkema, is an informal meet- 
ing venue and coproduction forum that occurs 
during the festival. It offers to representatives of 
40 preselected film projects from all over the 
world, including the U.S., an opportunity to net- 
work with 300 directors, producers, distributors, 
bankers, and TV network scouts. 

Fallaux's anti-consensus stance has been 
formed in part by his unusual assortment of life 
experiences. Now 48, he left his native Leiden to 




20 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



study theatrical direction, then got involved with 
the Living Theater during his "acid period" in the 
early 1960s. (Artaud's Theater of Cruelty was 
"my hangup at the time.") Subsequently as a 
journalist, he covered conflicts in Southeast Asia, 
Central America, and North Africa. 

Fallaux has programmed a number of come- 
dies from Egypt and Iran, and a high percentage of 
Bals Fund recipients are from Islamic nations. 
This support is in part Fallaux's response to his 
perception that "there is no room for deviant 
thought in now fundamentalist Islamic countries." 

The conformism is much more global, how- 
ever. "The American film circus keeps turning," 
Fallaux writes in the festival catalog, "immune to 
n hat is happening outside the amusement facto- 
ries." Rotterdam is traditionally a showcase for 
independent American productions; "a small film 
can drown in Berlin," he observes. Fallaux per- 
sonally selects the films, based on his two trips a 
year to the U.S. (his second home). Plus, he relies 
on unofficial suggestions from unpaid contacts 
like producer James Schamus and publicist Wendy 
Braitman. ("They plug their friends, of course, but 
that's all right.") This year he took Children of 
Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family (An- 
drew Young, Susan Todd, and Robert M. Young) 
and the then work-in-progress The Genius (Joe 
Gibbons) from the Independent Feature Film Mar- 
ket. Laws of Gravity (Nick Gomez) was promised 
to the festival, but a sales agent nixed it in favor of 
Berlin, which demanded an exclusive. Fallaux is 
particularly fond of two U.S. independents he 
presented. Mark D'Auria's Smoke and Tobias 
Meinecke's The Contenders. 

Although the noncompetitive Rotterdam Festi- 
val may sound on the surface too politically cor- 
rect — by current American standards anyway — it 
is, like Fallaux. a sincere continuation of the 
liberal Dutch social tradition and. moreover, never 
boring. Retrospectives this year included Abel 
Ferrara and Michael Haneke; the Extravaganza 
section mounted what the catalog calls "fine ex- 
amples of bad taste." like Man Bites Dog, Hard- 
Boiled, and Dead Alive! Br aindead; and regional 
specialists scoped out titles from remote parts of 
the globe for the Main Program. 

Fallaux, ever the earnest reporter, has always 
foregone ennui for dangerous living. When, how- 
ever, he feared for his life on the streets of the East 
Village in the seventies while reporting on the 
CIA ("they are lunatics"), he very nearly capitu- 
lated to a different type of journalism. "I thought 
I should quit," he muses, "and go interview Susan 
Sontag or something like that." 

Film Festival Rotterdam, Box 2 1 696, 3001 AR 
Rotterdam, The Netherlands; tel: (31) (10) 
4118080; fax: (31) (10) 4135132. Application 
deadline for 1994 festival: December 1; for 
CineMart: October 1. 

HOWARD FELNSTEIN 

Howard Feinstein is a freelance film journalist 
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MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 21 



SLICING UP THE RIGHTS PIE 

TV Licensing Deals for Documentaries 



ROBERT L. SEIGEL 



The recent controversial decision by the Public 
Broadcasting System (PBS) to link production 
funding with home video and other North Ameri- 
can audiovisual rights has forced film- and 
videomakers to seek alternative outlets. Ancillary 
markets are particularly vital to documentaries, 
which are rarely exhibited theatrically. 

Increasingly, independent producers are be- 
coming interested in selling to basic cable televi- 



License terms 




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Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam 
premiered on HBO with a "holdback" 
provision and had its theatrical release later. 

Courtesy HBO 



sion (e.g., the Learning Channel, Discovery, Arts 
& Entertainment, Turner Broadcasting Systems) 
and to pay or premium cable channels (e.g.. Home 
Box Office). These outlets may coproduce or 
cofinance independent productions, or simply 
acquire the rights to air them. 

Regardless of whether a project is a copro- 
duction or an acquisition, producers must be pre- 
pared to negotiate the media rights they are licens- 
ing. This article reviews the points to negotiate 
and issues to address when selling nonfiction 
productions to television. 



Most basic and pay cable channels request exclu- 
sive broadcast rights for the term of the license. 
"Broadcast rights" include commercial, basic, 
and pay television, so, theoretically, a pay cable 
service like HBO could sub-license a program to 
another cable service, such as A&E. Occasionally 
a licensee will want exclusive broadcast rights for 
only a portion of the license term (e.g., for six 
months after the initial broadcast). In general, 
producers should try to retain the rights to home 
video (domestic and foreign), foreign television, 
plus theatrical and nontheatrical (foreign and do- 
mestic) exhibition. They should attempt to do so 
even if a television service has helped finance the 
project. 

The license term for a documentary on televi- 
sion is usually one to five years, with an average 
of two to three years. The term generally starts 
from the first airdate. However, a producer may 
negotiate a license that starts earlier, beginning on 
the execution of the agreement or on the delivery 
of all the materials required. But most producers 
prefer using the initial airdate, since this allows 
them more time to negotiate a theatrical "win- 
dow" period prior to broadcast. 

When negotiating the license term, a producer 
should consider not just the number of years but 
also the number of "runs" or releases. For PBS, 
the minimum rights package licensed for almost 
all programming is four runs over a three-year 
term. However, each run may last as long as seven 
consecutive days. During that week, a program 
may be aired an unlimited number of times. This 
can dilute the project's value to other media, such 
as home video. 

Cable services may also state the need for 
multiple runs — often a higher number than for 
public television — since a cable channel's audi- 
ence can be even more fragmented than public 
TV's and it requires numerous cablecasts to de- 
velop a cumulative audience. 

Another point to consider is whether to grant an 
exclusive television license for the United States 
or for all of North America. Producers should first 
try to determine the potential of television sales 
(and home video) in Canada and Mexico. Public- 
television and often cable may seek exclusivity in 
the U.S. and border protection for public TV 
stations or cable services on the Canadian and 
Mexican borders. When this occurs, a producer 
can generally negotiate a "day and date" release 



22 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 




Conversely, Brother's 
Keeper was first released 
theatrically during an 
established "window" 
period, before appearing 
on American Playhouse. 

Ptioto: Derek Berg, 
courtesy filmmakers 



with Canadian and/or Mexican television buyers, 
so that the premiere broadcasts occur on the same 
date. Unless a channel or service can demonstrate 
a compelling reason, producers should attempt to 
retain not only the Canadian and Mexican televi- 
sion and home video rights, but also all foreign 
rights. 



Home video 

With PBS, the Learning Channel, A&E, and oth- 
ers marketing their programs on home video, the 
issue of home video rights must be addressed. 
These television services want to reap the benefits 
of ancillary markets for programs they finance or 
air — a move reminiscent of how the commercial 
networks, major film and television studios, and 
large production companies operate. 

The first point to be determined is who has the 
home video rights. Normally the producers re- 
serve those rights, so that they can license them to 
buyers. However. PBS has implemented a policy 
(effective July 1992) that permits it to reserve the 
right to condition production funding on the avail- 
ability of such North American audiovisual rights 
as home video [see "Risky Business: PBS Links 
Production Funds to Video Rights," December 
1992]. Although PBS will not automatically ob- 
tain such ancillary rights, producers should ad- 
dress this issue as soon as possible during prelimi- 
nary negotiations with PBS. 

Whether the buyer is PBS or cable, producers 
need to decide if that television outlet has the 
appropriate experience and resources to market 
and distribute their home videos to the public. 
This is especially important for grassroots-ori- 
ented or other specialized programming, for which 
smaller distributors may have greater expertise in 
reaching specific niche audiences. 

If the producer wants to include home video 
rights in the licensing, the first issue to settle is 
whether the producer will share any home video 
revenues with the media outlet (generally on a 50/ 
50 basis), or whether the rights will be purchased 



for a flat fee. These home video rights may be 
exclusive for a territory (e.g., U.S. or North Ameri- 
can) or worldwide, if a television service provided 
most or all of the funding. Although rare, the 
possibility of an advance against the producer's 
share of home video proceeds is another point that 
can be discussed. 

However, such ancillary rights as home video 
are not automatically acquired by a television 
outlet, even when the outlet has coproduced or 
cofinanced a project. For an upcoming documen- 
tary on Harley Davidson, forexample, coproduced 
by TBS, the American Motorcycle Association, 
and Cabin Fever Productions, Cabin Fever retains 
the home video rights and TBS has the U.S. 
television rights. 



Licensing fees 

Licensing fees for documentaries can vary sig- 
nificantly, depending on such factors as the qual- 
ity of the production, the length of the licensing 
term, the popularity and desirability of the project's 
topic, and the relative bargaining positions of the 
television service and the producer. Richard 
Lorber, president of the sales company Fox/Lorber, 
says that additional factors to bear in mind are 
audience numbers and time slot. A program sched- 
uled during primetime, for instance, may generate 
a greater license fee than one scheduled during the 
day. 

Although most license fees are flat fees (espe- 
cially for cable), television buyers may pay a 
producer on a per-minute rate. PBS' national 
series P.O.V., for instance, has a base rate of $375/ 
minute for four runs in three years beginning with 
the initial broadcast date for exclusive TV rights. 
A local series like WNET's Independent Focus 
has a base rate of $55/minute. 

Often producers are compelled to negotiate 
licensing agreements during the postproduction 
phase of a project. An important issue is who will 
do the postproduction work. (This is a separate 
issue from who has final cut.) Public television 



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often permits the film- or videomaker to do his or 
her own postproduction work, while such outlets 
as basic cable may want to do their own — espe- 
cially for the purposes of editing for commercials 
and scheduling length, and occasionally for con- 
troversial content (which is why most TV services 
will grant the film- or videomaker a good deal of 
creative latitude but reserve the right to final cut). 
A television service may try to reduce the cost 
of the licensing fee by the cost of postproduction, 
especially if such expenses are high. The producer 
should attempt to separate postproduction costs 
from the license fee whenever possible. Further- 
more, whether a project can be aired "as is" or if 
money must be spent for "re-versioning" (e.g., 
adding a new voiceover or graphics, especially if 
the project is aired overseas) can affect a project's 
license fee. Finally, a producer should request that 
any editing changes (even for length and commer- 
cials) be submitted for prior approval or, at the 
very least, for the producer's review. 



Theatrical windows 

Even though theatrical distribution of documen- 
taries is becoming increasingly rare, producers 
may want to establish "window" periods before a 
project can be aired on television. A "window" is 
a release period of time, generally before the 
license term begins, during which the project can 
be shown in a particular medium, like pay cable or 
theatrical, before its exhibition in other media. 
Such periods may be relatively short if a project is 
especially newsworthy (such as the fall of the 
Berlin Wall or the bombing of the World Trade 
Center) or as long as two years, as was the case 
with Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Brokers 
Keeper, a documentary that was funded in part by 
American Playhouse and is currently playing in 
theaters throughout the U.S. 

On the other hand, pay or premium cable ser- 
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24 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



project will premiere on the channel prior to any 
non-television or theatrical release. Premium cable 
services argue that their subscribers pay for origi- 
nal programming in addition to recent theatrical 
film releases. Two such cases that successfully- 
made the transition to theaters after their televi- 
sion cablecast are Heart of Darkness: A Film- 
maker's Apocalypse. George Hickenlooper and 
Fax Behr's documentary- on the filming of Apoca- 
lypse Now. and Bill Couturie's Dear America: 
Letters Home from Vietnam. They were aired first 
on Showtime and HBO respectively prior to the- 
atrical releases by Triton and the now-defunct 
Corsair Pictures. 

Again, when negotiating either a "window" or 
a "holdback" provision, the producer must deter- 
mine the conditions of the license term: i.e.. 
whether the term begins on a fixed date (e.g.. the 
signing of the licensing agreement or an arbitrary 
but mutually acceptable date) or when a project is 
initially aired. Most television services will opt 
for the latter. 



Releases 

Prior to airing a project, a media outlet will insist 
that the producer secure all the necessary rights. 
especially for preexisting music, archival foot- 
age, and literary materials. They generally require 
the producer to provide written documentation 
that such rights have been secured. In addition, 
producers should obtain releases from the indi- 
viduals appearing in the film or video, and for 
prominently featured locations. Although some 
producers obtain releases on film or tape when 
interviewing people, as does Michael Moore in 
Roger & Me. it is preferable to have releases in 
writing to reduce the possibility of any miscom- 
munication. 

Most television channels and services require 
that a producer obtain Errors & Omissions (E&O) 
insurance. This covers the cost of potential law- 
suits — i.e.. the defense and settlement or judg- 
ment against a producer for claims concerning 
copyright and trademark infringement, the inva- 
sion of privacy, defamation, and other illegalities. 
E&O insurance is paid by the producer and sold 
through licensed insurance brokers in the enter- 
tainment field. 



With public television and cable channels seeking 
to reap the monetary benefit of ancillary markets, 
the livelihood of independent documentarians may 
seem imperiled. However, according to some, 
such as Fox/Lorber's Richard Lorber, this situa- 
tion can be favorable to film/videomakers as the 
new media technologies and their revenue streams 
come into play. In any case, it's essential that 
producers understand that they need to muster as 
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MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 25 




DAVID EHRENSTEIN 



1992 HAS COME TO BE REGARDED AS SOMETHING OF A WATERSHED YEAR 
for independent film — at least as far as the media is concerned. From 
the cynical scribes of the trade press to television thumbmeistersSiskel 
and Ebert to the ever-smiling newsreaders of Entertainment Tonight, 
there's been non-stop chatter about the critical and commercial triumphs of 
Howard's End. The Crying Game, and The Player. The consensus is that 
while the studio-produced "mainstream" seems unable to offer anything 
outside of mindless, pre-digested fodder, canny independents are bracing to 
take the entire moviemaking game away from Hollywood. 

As usual with mass media oversimplifications, there's a grain of truth 
involved. Hollywood has boxed itself into a megabucks-or-bust corner, and 
several independent films that a few years ago would have had a hard time 



attracting viewers outside of the art houses are now gaining wider audience 
favor. Still, the status quo of production and distribution methods isn't about 
to alter anytime soon. The major companies have a lock on prime distribu- 
tion and exhibition patterns. More important, print and advertising costs 
have continued to soar, seriously taxing the finances of even the most 
successful independent releasing companies. 

Yet even if bottom line questions are put to one side, 1 992's independent 
"boom" is more apparent than real. The makers of the much-discussed "big 
three" — James Ivory, Neil Jordan, and Robert Altman — aren't spanking- 
new talents, but well-established directors who have all, at one time or 
another, worked with the studios. There are any number of directors on the 
independent scene who might be cited as "promising talents." Whether their 
"promise" will be fulfilled, however, is another matter. For while Holly- 
wood may be deserving of every brickbat that's recently been tossed its way 
in response to its marked lack of imagination, much of the independent 
scene suffers from thinking that is just as formulaic. The difference is the 



26 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



An atmosphere of masculine violence pervades 
Quentin Taranfino's Reservoir Dogs, with Steve 
Buscemi and Harvey Keitel (right). 

Courtesy Miramax 




The way Scorsese (above) played with the 
conventions of the B-movie crime thriller in Taxi 
Driver (right), Mean Streets, and later work is 
fundamentally different from the approach of 
today's younger directors. 

Photo (above): Phil Caruso, courtesy Amblin Entertainment; right, 
courtesy Columbia Pictures 



kind of formula involved and the sub-genre it has created: the violent "art" 
film exemplified by Resenoir Dogs, Laws of Gravity , and Bad Lieutenant. 
In a way this trio of critically-praised crime melodramas characterizes 
the state of independent film in 1992 far more than Howard's End. The 
Crying Game, and The Player. The former three are all outfitted/with 
minimal plots centered on white heterosexual male violence. All of them are 
highlighted by deliberately showy, long-take sequences designed to call 
attention to the skills of their respective directors: Quentin Tarantino, Nick 
Gomez, and Abel Ferrara. And all of them pay equally showy homage to 
Martin Scorsese. 



OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING. MARTIN SCORSESE SHOULDN'T BE A NEGATIVE 
influence on any filmmaker. The contemporary American cinema's 
most respected director. Scorsese began his career in the late 1960s, 
making his first feature Who's That Knocking at My Door (1965-69) under 
conditions of extreme financial and technical hardship. More important, 
he refused to listen to the "wisdom" of industry sages who told him that 
the moviegoing public had no interest in the lives of Italian Americans. It 
might be that Scorsese set about devoting his entire career to proving 
those detractors wrong. 

After serving a commercial apprenticeship of sorts, directing Boxcar 




Bertha ( 1 972) for Z-movie maestro Roger Corman, Scorsese broke through 
on his own with Mean Streets (1973), Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore 
(1974) and Taxi Driver (1975). Even though they were released by major 
studios (Warner Bros, and Columbia), all three films were produced with 
the same independent spirit that informed his first feature — sharp character- 
ization, avoidance of narrative cliche, and deeply expressive utilization of 
editing and camera movement. Over the years, Scorsese has in one way or 
another kept faith with that same filmmaking style, putting his concerns as 
an artist before those of Hollywood commerce to create works that have 
challenged audiences on the most profound emotional and intellectual 
levels. Unlike his like-minded predecessors Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, 
and Robert Airman, Scorsese has somehow managed to do this while 
continuing to function within an increasingly pressured and competitive 
industry. 

But it's not Scorsese's integrity that appears to be the real attraction for 
Tarantino, Gomez, and Ferrara. Rather, their films are fixated on Scorsese's 
aura instead — the atmosphere of masculine violence that far too many 
otherwise thoughtful critics seem to suggest (Pauline Kael, Vincent Canby, 
and J. Hoberman among them) is at the heart of all that Martin Scorsese has 
to offer. 

On a simple level this is reflected in the casting of Harvey Keitel (a key 
Scorsese actor) in pivotal roles inResen'oirDogs and Bad Lieutenant. Even 



MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 27 




more obviously there's the way in which the scenario of Laws of Gravity 
blatantly apes the central character conflict of Mean Streets. The destructive 
friendship scenario that brought Scorsese's Charlie and Johnny Boy to such 
vivid life in Mean Streets is, for all intents and purposes, xeroxed by Gomez 
and unceremoniously plopped right into the center of Laws of Gravity 
intact — right down to the climactic act of violence that brings the film to a 
close. But beyond such unabashed lifts, the "Scorsese-ness" of all these 
films comes through most strongly in the manner in which they play with 
the conventions of the B-movie crime thriller. 

You could write a master's thesis on the multifarious references to genre 
flicks famous and obscure that flow through the superstructure of Mean 
Streets, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, and GoodFellas. But with the 
exception of the last-mentioned work, none of these Scorsese films can by 
any stretch of the imagination be cited as examples of the crime genre per 
se. Even GoodFellas, with its Elia Kazan-like naturalism and Jean-Pierre 
Melville-inspired eye for detail, can't truly be regarded as a simple action 
thriller. It has far too much on its mind — politics, capitalism, friendship, 
morality, sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Reservoir Dogs, Laws of Gravity, 
and Bad Lieutenant, on the other hand, suggest what Scorsese might have 
been like had his passion for B movies remained at a superficial level — one 
content to recapitulate surface effects without recourse to character, narra- 
tive, or social comment. 

Reservoir Dogs recounts the bloody aftermath of a crime caper gone 
wrong. While the premise recalls Kubrick's The Killing, the interactions of 
Tarantino's figures (they're far too sketchily drawn to be called characters) 
suggest select moments of GoodFellas extended to feature length. In this 
study of mobster life, Scorsese shows how violence is connected directly to 
the anti-social impulses most people feel without ever acting upon them. 
The results of these impulses are then thrown back in the viewer's face via 
the pathological extreme to which the film's characters take them. We may 
find the hair-trigger temper of Joe Pesci 's Tommy amusing at first, but when 



Actor Harvey Keitel, affiliated with Scorsese since 
the 1 968 film Who's That Knocking at My Door?, 
is prominently featured in both Abel Ferrara's Bad 
Lieutenant and Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, 
prompting critics to cite Scorsese's influence when 
writing about the new crime dramas. 

Courtesy Aries Films 

Scorsese shows us how little the character truly cares for human life, the 
laughter sticks in our throats. 

In Reservoir Dogs impulsive violence is on screen for its own sake. 
Anything that gets a rise out of a spectator is seen as worth the film's time, 
regardless of its relevance. Likewise Tarantino brandishes Howard Stern- 
style "daring" in the viewer's face through dialog obsessively peppered 
with racist and misogynist asides. The "joke" we are clearly meant to 
appreciate is that no women or African Americans ever appear on screen. 
If they had, the film might have been about something other than its smug, 
preening infatuation with its assumption of its own hipness. 

Laws of Gravity is a good deal less giddy than Reservoir Dogs, but in the 
final analysis just as dramatically unsatisfying. A study of petty criminals 
on the lowest rung of the anti-Social ladder, it suggests at first that it's out 
to explore its characters along neo-realist lines. Gomez's use of hand-held 
camera is plainly designed to give the film a documentary air. But rather 
than draw us closer, the film's visual style keeps everything at a distance. 
Shoving a lens in an actor's face can't in and of itself tell us anything about 
the character the performer is playing. Likewise hurtling the camera from 
one side of room to another, as Gomez does frequently — clearly intended 
to invoke the sense of dramatic place Scorsese created in Taxi Driver and 
Mean Streets — only serves to underscore the fact that his reach exceeds his 
grasp. But just as with Tarantino, Gomez's effort is proffered as applause- 
worthy for its own sake. Similarly his inability to fully explore his character's 
lives squares with his desire to create a cooly empathy-free mise -en-scene. 

Bad Lieutenant is a somewhat more substantial moviegoing experience 
than Reservoir Dogs and Laws of Gravity, partly because Abel Ferrara has 
more of a filmmaking track record than Tarantino and Gomez, but also 
because he appears to be struggling to create some degree of empathetic 
involvement. A study of a corrupt, drug-addicted policeman, Bad Lieuten- 
ant plainly owes as much to Bresson's Pickpocket as it does to Taxi Driver 
or Raging Bull. But few viewers are likely to think of anything other than 



28 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 




Violence, rather than sex, is now the coin 
of much independent film. Recent 
examples include (clockwise from bottom 
left) Guncrazy, by Tamra Davis; One False 
Move, by Carl Franklin; Menace II Society, 
by Allan and Albert Hughes; and even 
Gregg Araki's The Living End. 

Courtesy Film Forum, I.R.S. Releasing, 
New Line Cinema, and filmmaker 



What do you do 
after you've made 
your mark with a 
crime genre film ? 





MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 29 



Keitel in Reservoir Dogs. 

Courtesy Miromax 



Scorsese's films, as Ferrara has so self-consciously 
set out to outdo them. 

The uncouth brutality of Scorsese's Jake La 
Motta in Raging Bull shocked audiences in 1980, 
thus in 1992 a "smart" director feels his sole 
recourse is to do the master one better. The scene 
in which Keitel's Lieutenant masturbates before a 
pair of teenage girls he has stopped for a traffic 
violation is the Fi\m* s piece de resistance. It would 
seem that Ferrara would be breaking new grounds 
of graphic grubbiness. But his "daring" is none- 
theless discreet. For while Ferrara shows Keitel 
lewdly groaning, he spares us that most treasured staple of the porn 
industry — the "come shot." 

What theory-minded critics might call the "structuring absence" of this 
moment is matched in Resen'oir Dogs in the scene where the camera turns 
away while one character slices off the ear of another, and in the last scene 
of Laws of Gravity where the death of a major character is deliberately kept 
off-screen. Still these momentary lapses of expressiveness shouldn't neces- 
sarily be interpreted as failures of nerve on the filmmakers' parts — just 
momentary lapses of expressiveness. For Tarantino and Gomez are both 
capable of graphic extremity when it comes to violence. As for Ferrara, he 
may very well have been motivated by the fact that a more explicit shot 
might have created a sense of genre confusion in the spectator. Bad 
Lieutenant isn't a porn film. But like Resen'oir Dogs and Laws of Gravity 
its interest in violence is in every way prurient. And it is this fact that also 
underscores what has become independent production's new bottom line: 
violence as a sales tool. 

"The torch has been passed from sex to violence," claims critic B. Ruby 
Rich is her essay "Art House Killers," recently published in Sight and Sound 
(December 1992). "Ignore the rhetoric to the contrary: people are getting 
off. The fix is in, the rush delivered. Otherwise the films wouldn't work the 
way they do and the hype wouldn't be as hot." 

There's no denying Rich's point. With sex a self-sufficient generic 
industry, violence is now the coin of the independent realm — critically as 
much as commercially. Review after review of One False Move praised Carl 
Franklin's skill as a director of sharply observed, well-acted thriller mate- 
rial. But as well-made as the film is (and it's in many respects superior to the 
works cited above), is mere genre professionalism all a director should 
aspire to? Similarly, while Tom Kalin'sSwow? and Greg Araki's The Living 
End have much to say about gay American life past and present, it isn't all 
that unreasonable to wonder if their makers would have had as much success 
with stories outside of the crime genre. 

And what do you do after you've made your mark with a genre film? 
After making his mark in 1981 with Ms. 45, Abel Ferrara's career has 
shuttled from low-budget programmers (Fear City) to more personal genre 
projects (China Girl) to television (Crime Story) to directorial gun-for-hire 
ventures (Body Snatchers). While his forthcoming Snake Eyes, with Keitel, 




James Russo, and Madonna, may provide him with a boost, the overall 
impression of his trajectory is that of a director moving in place. Tamra 
Davis, who has impressed many with her violent "art" film calling-card, 
Guncrazy (a perfectly respectable variation on They Drive by Night, Thieves 
Like Us, and Badlands) has followed it with CB4, a middle-range mass 
market comedy about the hip-hop music scene. You can't really call it 
progress. Simply consider the fact that Fear of a Black Hat and Menace II 
Society will shortly join CB4 as an apparent hip-hop subgenre bursts upon 
the scene. Good news? Not really. More like old news, for these films are 
as in thrall to macho violence as any of the "art" genre thrillers that preceded 
them. 



WHEN MARTIN SCORSESE BEGAN HIS CAREER. THE DIRECTOR'S DESIRE 
was to put on screen Italian American life as he knew it growing up 
on the streets of New York. Producer after producer told him in no uncertain 
terms that no one was interested in either Italian Americans or any of the 
other subjects he felt were worthy of film treatment. Luckily he refused to 
listen to any of them. There are still filmmakers who refuse to listen — Gus 
Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), Derek Jarman (Edward II, Wittgenstein), 
Leos Carax (Les Amants du Pont-Neuf), Werner Schroeter (Malina), Sally 
Potter (Orlando) to name a few. None of them traffic in "art" genre violence. 
Neither do they have anything much in common on other levels. About the 
only thing that genuinely connects these filmmakers is a passion for making 
works on their terms regardiess of the dictates of fashion or the pressures of 
the marketplace. None of them was made within reassuring think-alike 
contours of the genre flick. None of them was made outside of a context of 
commercial adversity — industry-sharpie after industry-sharpie telling their 
makers that no one was interested in seeing a film like that. Happily, the 
directors didn't listen. 
Just like Martin Scorsese. 

David Ehrenstein is the film critic for The Advocate. His most recent book, 
The Scorsese Picture: The Art and Life of Martin Scorsese, is published by 
Birch Lane Press. 



30 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



BEARING ALL AT THE BERLINALE 

The Berlin International Film Festival 



MICHELE SHAPIRO 




Lady Sings the Blues: Ellen Fisher Turk and Andrew 
Weeks' Split, which features the now-deceased 
drag queen International Chrysis, received 
accolades but no firm sales commitments in Berlin. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



I was forewarned that attending the Berlin Inter- 
national Film Festival for the first time could 
resemble diving blindfolded into a cavernous black 
hole and coming up for air only after the fun had 
subsided two weeks later. By its very nature, the 
festival and its accompanying film market over- 
whelm: during a 1 2-day period (February 1 1 to 22 
this year) approximately 400 screenings of films 
and documentaries from European countries, the 
U .S . , the Far East, and Africa ( 80 percent of which 
were premieres) took place 
around the clock at 16 the- 
aters throughout the sprawl- 
ing city. 

The seven-plus hour 
flight from New York to Ber- 
lin provided me with ample 
time to plot my strategy. 
Armed with a program for 
the 43rd Annual Interna- 
tionale Filmfestspiele Ber- 
lin and the "Berlin Piece by 
Piece" guide supplied by 
American Independents and 
Features Abroad (AIFA). I 
attempted to formulate a ten- 
tative plan of viewing ac- 
tion. I also set aside a few 
afternoons and evenings for 
press conferences (Spike 
Lee, Danny DeVito, Gre- 
gory Peck, and Billy Wilder 
would all be there in the 
flesh answering questions), 
panel discussions, recep- 
tions, and the parties I'd 
heard so much about. 
("Don't waste time going to 
screenings," one Berlin pro 
told me ahead of time. "Just 
be sure to hit the parties. 
You ' 11 be amazed at the con- 
nections you can make.") 

After a few jet-lagged 
days of vanning it back and 
forth from the Press Center on the outskirts of 
town to the European Film Market, located di- 
rectly across from a bombed-out church in the 
center of former West Berlin, I stopped wishing 
that I could clone myself and concluded that one 
can see only so much at a festival of such epic 
proportions. Thereafter, I slowed my pace and 
learned that the real fun comes from chance meet- 



ings with filmmakers passionately promoting their 
projects and buyers speaking favorably of a screen- 
ing they had just attended. Perhaps the greatest 
surprise for me was that, despite its camivalesque 
character, the festival managed to create an atmo- 
sphere that was at the same time relaxed and 
invigorating. 

One of three major international festivals, Ber- 
lin, with an annual budget of S5.62-million, inten- 
tionally lacks the glitziness of Cannes and the 
discreet artsiness of Venice. Started by the Ger- 
man government shortly after World War II, the 
festival's longtime role was as a bridge between 
Eastern and Western Europe. In the 1970s, the 
creation of the Forum section, a haven for Third- 
World political and artistic films, and the pre- 
dominantly gay Panorama section, helped so- 
lidify the festival's image as groundbreaking. But 
now that its political mission has been undercut by 
the fall of the Iron Curtain and the competition for 
innovative premieres has increased among Euro- 
pean festivals, the Berlinale is scrambling to rede- 
fine its identity. For starters, the focus of the 
prestigious Competition section has shifted. 

Russian entries, once a section staple, were 
absent this year from the 25 films vying for the 
festival's top honor, the Golden Bear. For the first 
time, however, African and East Asian films went 
head-to-head with the traditional European and 
Hollywood fare. In addition, two low-budget in- 
dependent films from the States — Ang Lee's The 
Wedding Banquet (a U.S. -Taiwan coproduction) 
and Haile Gerima's Sankofa (a U.S. -African 
coproduction) — gave other films, including Hol- 
lywood heavyweights Malcolm X and Hoffa, a run 
for the gold and silver grizzlies. 

Both The Wedding Banquet, which takes place 
in New York but features a primarily Taiwanese 
cast, and Xie Fei's The Women from the Lake of 
Scented Souls, filmed in Mainland China, bagged 
coveted Golden Bears. "It was definitely the year 
of the Far East," said Moritz de Hadeln, the 
festival's director. After the awards ceremony, a 
festival insider was quoted in Variety as saying the 
reason for the tie was political. "It would be 
impossible to give the nod to China and not 
Taiwan," said the source. But de Hadeln cited 
growing freedom from censorship, decentralized 
production, and more links between China. Hong 
Kong, and Taiwan as reasons for the Far East's 
strong showing. 

The U.S.'s presence at this year's festival was 
also stronger than in years past. Twenty-seven 



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independent films were screened as part of the 
official festival program and an additional 12 
were shown exclusively at the market. Of the 1 1 
film- and videomakers whose works appeared in 
the Forum section and the 14 whose works were 
presented as part of the Panorama, several were 
awarded prizes at the festival's conclusion. Nick 
Gomez's Laws of Gravity won the Wolfgang- 
Staudte Prize for "a film whose dynamic energy 
best exemplifies the spirit of 'young cinema.'" 
Barbara Hammer received a Polar Bear for her 
significant contribution to gay and lesbian cul- 
ture, and the Teddy Bear for Best Documentary 
went to Tom Joslin and Peter Friedman ' s Silverlake 
Life: A View from Here. Ellen Fisher Turk and 
Andrew Weeks' Split: From William to Chrysis, 
Portrait of a Drag Queen also won a special jury 
prize from Panorama, and Marc Huestis' docu- 
mentary Sex Is... won the audience prize for best 
gay film. There was no honor for Best Promotion, 
but were there one, Huestis, who came to the 
festival bearing two styles of Sex Is... t-shirts, 
buttons, flyers, and promotional watches, would 
have won hands down. 

Not a bad showing for U.S. independents, 
considering the fact that Ulrich Gregor, director 
of the Forum section who has been with the 
festival for 25 years, said he was unimpressed 
with the offerings at last year's American Film 
Market. "There were no runaway films," he told 
The Independent. "Fortunately, many more com- 
pleted tapes were sent in to me after the AFM." 
Among the U.S. independent works screened as 
part of the Forum this year were Mark Rappaport's 
Rock Hudson's Home Movies, which the film- 
maker describes as "a film about repression and 
gender coding," Barbara Hammer's Nitrate Kisses, 
and Michal Aviad's The Women Next Door, a 
documentary about women in the Palestinian- 
Israeli conflict. 

Victor Ginsburg, a U.S. filmmaker whose docu- 



mentary The Restless Garden, an exploration of 
the sexual revolution in Russia, was shown at the 
market after being rejected by the Forum, had 
harsh words to say about Gregor and his section. 
"The guy's been at his job too long," he said from 
the AIFA booth, which was given a facelift this 
year thanks to funds from Eastman Kodak. "Just 
look at the films he's showing. The section's 
supposed to represent new cinema, but all the 
groundbreaking stuff is in Panorama." 

Sour grapes, perhaps, but the Panorama section 
was hopping this year — the first since Wieland 
Speck replaced Manfred Salzberger, the section's 
founder, as its director. The Panorama's diverse 
array of product ranged from Paris Poitier's Last 
Call at Maude's, which tracks the closing of San 
Francisco's oldest lesbian bar, to John Sayles' 
Passion Fish. 

In its role as promoter of U.S. independents, 
AIFA, a joint project of the New York Foundation 
for the Arts and the Independent Feature Project, 
attempted to structure numerous events around 
the visiting North Americans. New York City 
film commissioner Richard Brick moderated a 
panel on "Shooting in New York," which featured 
Nick Gomez, Spike Lee, and Peter Miller, pro- 
ducer of the documentary Passin' It On, among 
others. Although the first discussion was poorly 
attended due to a lack of advance publicity, a 
second, "The Growth of American Indies: At 
Home on Foreign Soil," drew a relatively large 
crowd of both European and American filmmak- 
ers. Topics discussed at the panel — which fea- 
tured David Linde, senior vice president of sales 
and acquisitions for Miramax International, Sandra 
Schulberg, managing director of American Play- 
house Abroad, and Ted Hope, founder of New 
York-based Good Machine Productions, among 
others — included what makes a U.S. project ap- 
pealing to European coproducers and whether 
there is room for more than one coproduction 



32 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



Eighteen U.S. independents, 
including (I. to r.) Barbara 
Hammer, Stephen Tolkin, 
and Haile Gerima, with 
moderator Geoffrey Gilmore, 
discussed their works at the 
American Independents and 
Features Abroad (AIFA) press 
conference in Berlin. 

Photo: Helene Caux 

AlFA's booth at the 

European Film Market, which 

was upgraded this year 

thanks to funds from 

Eastman Kodak, provided a 

comfortable space for 

filmmakers to meet, gather 

information, and talk up 

their current projects. 

Photo Helene Caux 



market in Europe. 

The second discussion occurred after Ulrike 
Hamacher announced the creation of Income, a 
new coproduction market that will take place in 
Cologne, Germany from June 13-16. Hamacher 
was asked why Income did not cooperate with 
Euro Aim, the promotion arm of the European 
Community's Media Programme, rather than ini- 
tiate a new market. Ted Hope responded that, 
while the main interest of buyers in Berlin is 
purchasing completed films, coproduction mar- 
kets, including the Rotterdam Cinemart and ECCO 
(European Coproduction Market), are most use- 
ful for producers seeking additional funding for 
works-in-progress. (Those interested in obtaining 
more information on Income can call Hamacher 
in Dusseldorf at 49-021-193-0500.) 

AlFA's press conference for U.S. indepen- 
dents, while poorly attended by journalists, was 
brimming with so many participants that the film- 
makers had to answer questions in two shifts. 
With Geoffrey Gilmore. director of the Sundance 
Film Festival, moderating, 18 filmmakers, in- 
cluding festival first-timer John Sayles. discussed 
their current and future projects, their anticipated 
audiences, and the problems they faced selling 
their work in the U.S. and overseas. Bill Miles and 
Nina Rosenblum, whose Academy Award-nomi- 
nated documentary The Liberators: Fighting on 
Two Fronts in World War II was screened in 
Berlin, were conspicuously absent from the con- 
ference. The pair had received a barage of nega- 
tive publicity back in the States after questions 
arose about the film's accuracy. 

Deborah Magosci, whose first film New! Im- 
proved! Real-Life American Fairy Tale received 
positive word of mouth at the festival, said she 
never even thought about having to sell her work 
when she was making it. "I wanted to make a film 
about where I see myself in my culture. But the 
film makes people uncomfortable, and I realize 




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now it might not be saleable." 

When asked how it felt to have The Wedding 
Banquet screened in Competition, coproducer 
James Schamus said it was a mixed blessing. "We 
have spent almost as much money coming to 
Berlin as we spent to make the picture." Schamus 
half-joked. Undoubtedly, he and partner Ted Hope 
will make it back soon. Since the film's trium- 
phant premiere in Berlin. Samuel Goldwyn has 
paid a reported $750,000 for distribution rights in 
the U.S. and several European distribution deals 
are also in place. In addition, the film grossed S2 
million during its first four days in Taiwan follow- 
ing the festival. 

The AIFA conference may have been poorly 
attended by the press, but "it provided a great 
opportunity for filmmakers to meet and discuss 
their work," said Kathe Sandler, who completed 
her eight-year project, the documentary A Ques- 
tion of Color, just weeks before the festival. She 
almost didn't make it to Berlin, but Sandler, who 
got three offers from international sales agents as 
a result of her film's screenings in the Panorama 
section, is glad she did. 

Split's, codirector Ellen Fisher Turk was less 
pleased with her accomplishments in Berlin. Al- 
though a number of foreign buyers requested 
copies of the film. "I wanted to walk away with 
good solid sales and didn't," she said. Still, the 
film has been accepted by numerous festivals, 
including Australia, Vancouver, and Rivertown, 
and will be screened at the Museum of Modern 
Art in New York on May 20. Turk added that she 
would have liked more help from AIFA in meet- 
ing buyers and in arranging interviews with the 
American press. 

Lynda Hansen, AlFA's director, said she was 
disappointed that so many U.S. independent films 
were screened late in the festival, when buyers 
had already left Berlin. "Maybe it's just a coinci- 
dence," she said, "or maybe the festival heads are 



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trying to get buyers to stay in town longer, but it's 
never happened before." 

The European Film Market, where more than 
300 companies touted their product to approxi- 
mately 500 buyers, was the true heart of the 
festival. Yet despite the socializing that took place 
at the Cine Center's smoke-filled cafe and the 
non-stop show of product in the market's 12 
screening rooms, many doubt that a record num- 
ber of deals were struck this year. "We do not 
claim to compete with MIFED, Cannes, and the 
American Film Market," said Beki Probst, the 
market's director. 



Instead, many buyers, including David Tho- 
mas, vice president of marketing for the New 
Cultural Network, used the opportunity to scope 
out product. "Our purpose in going to Berlin was 
to establish contacts with international filmmak- 
ers," said Thomas. His Baltimore-based cable 
channel, run by U.S. independent filmmakers, 
anticipates a fall 1994 launch in the U.S., and he 
was shopping for short films, features, and docu- 
mentaries. Despite what many considered a lack- 
luster year in terms of its offerings, Thomas said 
he saw many films he was interested in acquiring. 

Neither the lack of actual sales inside nor the 



A Berlin Studio with Money and Talent to Spare 



A visit to the Babelsberg Studio outside of 
Berlin is a trip back in time to the glorious 
past — and forward to an uncertain future. 
Founded in 1912, home of the first films of 
Garbo and Dietrich, Babelsberg is becoming a 
Media City in Central Europe. 

Located in picturesque Potsdam, the 81- 
year-old studio is Europe's oldest and largest 
film and television complex. It is being newly 
refurbished and is ready for action. Many films 
are utilizing the studio, as Babelsberg offers all 
services and facilities, from screenplay devel- 
opment to the final print. Aside from renting 
stages and cutting rooms, Babelsberg itself will 
produce and coproduce films. In addition, pro- 
ducers, including Americans, are invited to 
discuss film productions and collaborations. 

The studio's history could itself serve as 
fodder for many a f i lm script. In 1 929, Europe ' s 
first talkies were made at Babelsberg's 
soundstages. The 12 years of the Third Reich 
saw the production of 1 ,100 Nazi feature films, 
and after the Third Reich's collapse in 1945, 
Babelsberg, which fell within the Soviet zone 
of occupied Berlin, began making Communist 
films and continued to do so until 1990. 

Since the Berlin Wall tumbled, the reunified 
German government has created a new agency, 
the "Treuhand," to sell off to private companies 
the state-owned properties of the former Ger- 
man Democratic Republic. Accordingly, 
Babelsberg has now passed into the hands of a 
newly created entity, combining French, Ger- 
man, and British financial groups. 

Babelsberg's production chief for the last 
six months is German-born VolkerSchlondorff. 
director of the Oscar-winning The Tin Drum. 
Schlondorff, who also directed Dustin Hoffman 
in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, has 
signed a five-year contract with the studio. 
Eight years a student in Paris and assistant to 
Louis Malle and Alain Resnais, seven years a 
U.S. resident, Schlondorff speaks perfect French 
and English and brings to Babelsberg a sophis- 



tication and international outlook that matches the 
studio's main purpose: to create a European film 
metropolis. Germany's subsidy program for film- 
makers, in place for 25 years, is an added induce- 
ment for producers to work at Babelsberg. Studios 
in Prague and Budapest have lower rates. 
Schlondorff concedes, "but we can help foreign 
productions cash in on the German subsidy pro- 
gram." Prior to the fall of the wall, filmmakers 
who shot in Berlin received a subsidy of up to 50 
percent of production costs. Although not as high 
any longer, subsidies offered by Berlin's federal 
government and its senate are still generous. 

Schlondorff, who has set aside a fund of $42 
million which he hopes to administer like the 
Sundance Film Institute to cultivate emerging 
writers and directors, complains that he recently 
waded through 200 screenplays and found only 
three of merit. "Why do I receive all these low- 
budget screenplays? If anyone comes up with a 
project that needs a lot of money, one that is valid, 
we're ready to go. But we don't want to make 
merely imitation American movies." 

Currently, Babelsberg has a staff of 630, down 
from 2,300 prior to 1989. All facilities are being 
modernized with state of the art equipment. The 
renovations will take several years. The studio 
now has 127 buildings on 1 14 acres, with 24 acres 
of backlot sets, including a Medieval village. An 
additional 40 buildings are outside the main com- 
plex. There are 1 1 soundstages, including the 
behemoth Metropolis of 57,000 sq. feet, built in 
1926 for Fritz Lang's film of that name. There are 
31 editing rooms, four dubbing theaters, rooms 
housing lights; sound recording; music; mix; dub; 
cameras; set design and construction. The prop 
department alone has one million items. There are 
150,000 costumes and uniforms of all nationali- 
ties and periods, plus 2,000 wigs and 1 ,200 beards 
and moustaches. 

Babelsberg literature lists prices: during the 
summer, a director of photography costs $1,260 
for a week of 10-hour days; technicians are $32 
per day. The largest of the soundstages is $2,000 



34 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



blustery weather outside could dampen the spirit 
of this year's festival. Nancy Walzog, vice presi- 
dent of Tapestry International, said the laid back 
atmosphere is hard to beat. "It's so different than 
MIP-TV and MIFED where people all wear suits 
and sit in screening booths all day." 

Okay. So I missed a few good screenings, a few 
good parties, a few good stories. But like good 
caviar, the Berlin International Film Festival takes 
a few swallows to really appreciate. I'm ready for 
next year. 

Michele Shapiro is managing editor of The 
Independent. 




Volker Schlondorff, managing director of 
Studio Babelsberg in Berlin, hopes to turn the 
historic space into a Media City. 

Courtesy Studio Babelsberg 

per day. Rates in winter are somewhat higher. 
For more information, contact Volker 
Schlondorff, managing director, Babelsberg 
Srudio, August-Babel-Strasse 26-53, Potsdam 
0-1591, Germany; tel: 0-3733-720, fax: 0-3733- 
77513. 

GORDON HITCHENS 

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this year' s Berlin International Festival. For 
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festival's International Forum of Young 
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THE INDEPENDENT 35 



Z-PLACE TO BE 

The Sundance Film Festival 



PATRICIA THOMSON 



A week before the Sundance Film Festival kicked 
off, the National Guard was called into the Park 
City area. Utah's 10-year drought had ended with 
a record six feet of snow that was crushing roof- 
tops and tumbling off A-frame condos onto the 
heads of unsuspecting tenants. By Sundance's 
opening on January 2 1 , the emergency had passed, 
leaving only deep snowdrifts and a giddy eupho- 
ria among ski buffs and local merchants over the 
fresh powder that transformed the pine and aspen- 




Ruby in Paradise, Victor Nunez's first film in 
seven years (with Allison Dean and Ashley Judd, 
right), was one of the high points at Sundance. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



covered mountains into an exhilarating winter 
wonderland. 

Business was brisk at the ski resorts, and equally 
so at the festival. Advance ticket sales were up 30 
percent from 1992, according to Gary Beer, ex- 
ecutive vice president of the Sundance Institute. 
At the festival ' s start. Beer reported a record 6,000 
attendees, plus 300 press. To accommodate the 
growing numbers, the 10-day festival added a 
much-needed 500-seat screening facility in a reno- 
vated high school-turned-cultural center. 

While attendance figures have soared every 
year, the number of films is kept at a relatively 
manageable level: 1 5 in the documentary compe- 
tition, 16 in the dramatic, about 50 in various 
sidebars, plus dozens of shorts. The general con- 
sensus this year was that they were an uneven 
batch containing no potential break-out hit like 
sex, lies, and videotape, which launched its pre- 
cipitous climb at Sundance in 1989. Last year's 
festival is a better parallel, when good word-of- 



mouth was divided between roughly 10 to 15 
features. But whatever the line-up at Sundance, 
one can safely assume that the festival's films will 
dominate the theatrical releases of independent 
productions during the rest of the year. Think of 
1 992 : Fathers and Sons; Gas, Food and Lodging; 
In the Soup; Johnny Suede; Jumpiri at the 
Boneyard; The Living End; Swoon; Reservoir 
Dogs; The Waterdance; Zebrahead; plus such 
documentaries as A Brief History of Time, and 
Brother' s Keeper &\\ appeared in Sundance's com- 
petition before their theatrical runs. 

The buzz in 1993 was similarly splintered 
among a dozen or so films. Some of the favorites 
weren't even in the competition. British director 
Sally Porter's Orlando, based on Virginia Woolf 's 
eponymous book, had many admirers, as did 
Alfonso Arau'sL/Ac Water for Chocolate , a won- 
derful folkloric tale from Mexico that has a kin- 
ship with the Latin American literary tradition of 
magical realism. 

Most popular among the dramatic competition 
were Leslie Harris' Just Another Girl on the IRT 
(Miramax); Rob Weiss ' Amongst Friends (picked 
up by Fine Line Features shortly after the festi- 
val ); Michael Steinberg ' s debut as a solo director, 
Bodies, Rest, and Motion (Fine Line Features; 
Steinberg codirected last year's Waterdance with 
Neal Jimenez); Tony Chan's Combination Plat- 
ter, and Keva Rosenfeld's Twenty Bucks. 

Then there was El Mariachi, by Robert Rodri- 
guez. His $7,000 feature won the audience award, 
but Rodriguez warranted the Mr. Personality prize. 
With self-deprecating humor, he won over an 
auditorium of eager young filmmakers by trading 
his secrets of low-budget filmmaking: write, shoot, 
and direct the film yourself; use unpaid friends 
and family as actors; shoot without rehearsing by 
feeding the actors a line at a time; shoot only one 
take, etc. Asked how he got certain swooping 
shots, he genially demonstrated his hand-held, 
rubber-legged acrobatics. Queried what he'd do 
differently with a million-dollar budget (as his 
two-sequel deal with Columbia surely entails), he 
replied, "Hardly anything. I'd make it for $7,000 
and pocket the rest." The audience laughed ap- 
provingly. "No, I'd donate it to charity," he 
amended. (In fact, he's dedicating part of the 
profits to his younger siblings' education.) 

El Mariachi, which playfully borrows tried- 
and-true conventions of action-adventure films, is 
a good-humored lark that doesn't pretend to be 
more than it is. The other dramatic feature that 
captivated audiences and captured the Grand Jury 



36 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



prize for best dramatic feature (split with Bryan 
Singer's Public Access) is of a completely differ- 
ent nature: Ruby in Paradise, by veteran film- 
maker Victor Nunez (Gal Young Un, A Flash of 
Green), is a subtle character study with a precise, 
distilled script that never condescends to its char- 
acters or audience. Unlike coming-of-age stories. 
this focuses on the next stage of life, when a 
person is living on one's own for the first time. 
The character Ruby (played with depth and grav- 
ity by Ashley Judd ) is a young woman who has left 
her Tennessee home before she's "beaten or preg- 
nant" and lands in Florida's "redneck Riveria" 
during the off-season. She finds work in a knick- 
knack beach shop, then loses it when a fling with 
the boss' son goes sour. Forced to look for ever 
more marginal jobs in the recession-ravaged South. 
Ruby winds up at an industrial laundry company. 
She meets a local man and becomes involved, but 
at arm's length. He is kind, caring, an environ- 
mentalist ("I'm into low-impact living") and sup- 
portive of other liberal causes — but ultimately 
paralyzed by his knowledge and cynicism. Ruby 
in Paradise is full of quiet insights into a young 
woman's struggle to forge her identity in the face 
of low-level jobs and boyfriends with conflicting 
agendas. 

Nunez, known as a writer's director, is never 
formulaic. No doubt this is part of the reason he 
had so much trouble getting a project greenlighted 
during the seven years since A Flash of Green. "If 
you want to count all the submissions and propos- 
als," Nunez says, "it's probably the sixth or sev- 
enth film that I've tried to get off the ground." He 
approached HoUywood, American Playhouse, and 
other independent sources, but the projects were 
turned do wn for being "too small" or "too far out." 
Even with Ruby he was asked, "Does she have to 
keep a journal?" "Does it have to end so down?" 
Nunez finally decided to scale back, dig into his 
own pockets, and just do it. So with his savings, an 
inheritance, and a bank loan, he shot Ruby for 
5350,000 ($600,000 with deferrals and lab work). 
"Our drama, our high adventure here at the festi- 
val is finding a distributor," he says. (They suc- 
ceeded. In early March, October Films picked up 
all North American rights and will open the film 
in theaters this fall.) 

Seated on the balcony at Z-Place, Sundance's 
gymnasium-tumed-reception area, Nunez surveys 
the crowd of young directors as they swap busi- 
ness cards and try to spot Hollywood agents and 
buyers. "You can't go through seven years of 
being locked out without some bitter recrimina- 
tions," he admits, reflectively. "I left Los Angeles 
because I thought, "This is getting me nowhere.' 
Still, every force in the country pushes you there. 
This is Sundance's downside. Every young film- 
maker here feels they want to make a picture the 
studios will buy." 

But Nunez, a long-time Florida resident, had a 
different kind of ambition. "I wanted to be like a 
Southern writer," he says, characterizing the liter- 
ary tradition of Flannery O'Connor, John D. 
MacDonald, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings as 



one in which "character, place, and story are 
inextricably linked." "This linkage is more evi- 
dent in Europe, or in fiction, than in U.S. filmmak- 
ing." he says, noting dryly that Hollywood would 
have no trouble setting Alice in Wonderland on 
Mars. "In order to be universal," he says, "you 
first have to be specifically where you are." 



Character, place, and story were also inextricably 
linked in many of the festival's documentaries, 
which truly shined this year. In fact, they over- 
shadowed the dramatic competition — a rare 
occurence at this fiction-oriented festival and no 
doubt a surprise to those hyping the twenty- 
something set. who were a prominent presence in 
the festival program. 

The festival buzz about the documentaries was 
immediately echoed in the press. "The real story 
of Sundance '93 was the renaissance of first-rate 
documentaries. For riveting drama and meaty 
subjects they left most of the dramatic films in the 
dust," wrote David Ansen in Newsweek under the 
headline. "Documentaries Steal the Show." And 




New York Times critic Bernard Weinraub penned, 
"If there's a consensus this year it's that the 
movies here, as in Hollywood, are not better than 
ever. Younger than ever, perhaps, but not better. 
What has emerged starkly. ..is that for the first 
time documentaries are dominating a festival that 
has been known, since it started in 1981, as a 
haven for features." 

Like Ruby, many of the strongest documenta- 
ries were by experienced filmmakers. Interest- 
ingly, many also had the common denominator of 
including the filmmakers themselves in the cast of 
real characters. This forthrightness about the 
author's hand brazenly defies the conventions of 
network news documentary, which consider any 
acknowledgement of subjectivity suspect (and to 
this day dominate virtually all TV documentary 
production, except for the ghettoized "point of 
view" programs). 

The documentary Grand Jury prize was split 
between two works that shared this trait. In 
Silverlake Life: The View from Here, director 
Peter Friedman narrates how he took over Tom 
Joslin's video diary when his former teacher and 
mentor became too ill to fin- 
ish chronicling his mortal 
battle with AIDS. The core 
of the film is the footage of 
Joslin and his long-time 
lover going through good 
times and bad during the last 
year of Joslin's life — alter- 
nately joking, sobbing, and 
fuming to the camera-cum- 
diary. 

Children of Fate: Life and 
Death in a Sicilian Family 
shared the Grand Jury docu- 
mentary prize, and subse- 
quently won the top prize at 
the Cinema du Reel festival 
and was picked up by First 
Run Features for theatrical 
release. This film also makes 
no pretense about the film- 
makers' invisibility. It looks 
at the life of an impover- 
ished Sicilian woman, An- 
gela, her jobless and abusive 
husband, and their children. 
Much of the footage was shot 
in 1961 by Michael Roemer 
and Robert Young, who were 



Leslie Harris made her 
directorial debut with Just 
Another Girl on the I.R.T., 
which features a smart teen 
(Ariyan Johnson) with 
misinformed, gossip-based 
ideas about birth control. 

Courtesy Miramax 



MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 37 



Logo from Saviors of the Forest's 

press kit, which included a 

"complementary refrigerator magnet" 

with their cameraman icon. 

Courtesy videomakers 



documenting the dire social conditions of the 
slums of Palermo for NBC. (The network ulti- 
mately refused to air their film because it was 
deemed"too powerful," thus precipitating Young's 
switch to independent filmmaking.) Angela nar- 
rates how she was surprised to see Young's son, 
Andrew, and Andrew's wife, Susan Todd, appear 
30 years later to pick up the narrative thread. The 
filmmakers' presence clearly had an impact on 
her life and self-image. "Has my life gotten any 
better in the last 30 years? I ask myself that a lot, 
now that I'm being filmed again," she muses. Her 
answer, enacted throughout the film, is tragically 
ambivalent. 

Earth and the American Dream, by Bill Court- 
ier (Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam) 
was one of two documentaries dealing with envi- 
ronmental destruction. A 35mm production with 
stunning photography, the 
film won a five-minute 
standing ovation. The other 
eco-documentary , Saviors of 
the Forest, was decidely less 
slick, having been shot on 
Hi8 and Beta, but also more 
provocative. Saviors shows 
videomakers Bill Day and 
Terry Schwartz heading for 
Equador in order to "do 
something" to help save the 
rainforest. They hunt for 
heroes and villains, only to 
find they've stepped through 
the looking glass, encoun- 
tering a world where envi- 
ronmentalists are trying to 
import a portable sawmill 
while the big lumber com- 
pany owners are campaign- 
ing for reforestation projects. 




Deep in the forest. Day and Schwartz expect to see 
impersonal, easily villified bulldozers toppling 
trees. Instead they run across a few poor colonos 
with chainsaws trying to eke out a decent living 
for their families. Back in Los Angeles, Day and 
Schwartz show their footage to concerned groups. 



Aileen Wournos, a 

prostitute convicted of 

killing seven Johns in 

Florida, is trapped at the 

center of a tabloid media 

circus in Nick Broomfield's 

documentary Aileen 

Wournos: The Selling of a 

Serial Killer. 

Courtesy In Pictures Ltd 




but are stumped when asked, "What can we do to 
help?" They themselves plant a few trees. Dissat- 
isfied, they take their cameras along on a 
Greenpeace action targetting a timber ship with 
24,000 tons of rainforest wood. (They wryly note 
that the biggest consumer of rainforest plywood in 
L.A. is the Hollywood studios for set construc- 
tion. Day later reported that two days after Warner 
Bros, was shown the film, the studio issued a 
statement saying they would no longer buy 
rainforest lumber.) With refreshing humor in an 
area dominated by bleak doomsday films, Saviors 
of the Forest offers an eye-opening look at the 
obstacles and paradoxes facing activists at ground 
zero. It also expresses with much-needed candor 
why there are no clear-cut remedies to this eco- 
logical and economic muddle. 

Day, who has written a feature-length screen- 
play about the Amazon for director Ridley Scott, 
was attending Sundance for the first time. "It's not 
at all what I expected," he says genially. Having 
attended the Independent Feature Film Market 
(IFFM) last fall (where Sundance's programmers 
first spotted Saviors), Day anticipated more of the 
same hard-sell atmosphere. At IFFM, he says, 
"you had to be more aggressive. Otherwise, with 
300 films, you could get lost in the maze. Sundance 
is smaller, and the sell factor is not as important. 
It's hard to have a real conversation with anyone 
at the market. Here, I met some filmmakers, like 
Nick Broomfield. We talked for 45 minutes at the 
bar. You wouldn't have time to talk at IFFM." 

Broomfield later concurred. "Sundance is a 
good market to sell, to discuss new ideas, and to 
meet people. It's also important for gauging audi- 
ence reaction." Asked if he, as a documentary- 
maker, felt at all like a second-class citizen (not an 
infrequent complaint among documentarians at 
Sundance), Broomfield responds, "I wasn't treated 
any differently last year with Monster in a Box. It 
really depends on the subject matter." 



38 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 




"Sing it again, Billy." Cory 
McAbee's wild musical 
animation Billy McNair was 
one of about 40 shorts 
scheduled both before every 
feature and in separate 
programs at Sundance. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



The subject of Aileen Wournos had already 
attracted considerable attention from the press 
and Hollywood before Broomfield began shoot- 
ing his documentary (a UK Channel Four/HBO 
coproduction ). Woumos. a prostitute now on death 
row in Florida for killing seven Johns, was hyped 
in the tabloids as the first female serial killer. 
Abused as a child, threatened and tortured as a 
prostitute, Wournos continued after her arrest to 
be exploited by those closest to her. Wourno"s 
lesbian lover sold their story to Hollywood agents. 
Her lawyer and her recent adoptive mother (a 
Bom- Again Christian and horse farmer in need of 
cash) demand and receive SI 0.000 from Broom- 
field on screen before giving him access to 
Woumos — despite the Son of Sam law, which 
prohibits such profiteering. The local police were 
also complicit; Broomfield reveals that officers 
entered into discussions with Hollywood produc- 
tion companies before Woumos' arrest. This 
clearly gave them a vested interest: Woumos' 
arrest and conviction would, after all, make a 
better story. "This is where "reality shows' have 
changed reality." Broomfield declares. "The de- 
fense brought up these kinds of contacts, but 
didn't follow up... I hope this film will generate 
enough publicity to raise these questions." 

A project like Aileen Wournos raises another 
kind of question: should films that are produced 
by major television entities like HBO and Chan- 
nel Four be permitted into the festival, while films 
by MGM and Disney clearly are not? According 
to one competition selection advisory board mem- 
ber, it's an issue that came up when considering 
Barbara Koppel's documentary Fallen Champ: 
The Untold Story of Mike Tyson, which was pro- 
duced as an NBC Movie-of-the-Week. In Fallen 
Champ's case, the question became moot; accord- 
ing to Koppel, NBC wanted the February airdate 



to be its premiere, so Sundance was not an option. 
But the question remains hanging. It's a difficult 
one, being tied both to the protean definition of 
"independent" film and to the harsh reality of 
funding. Should independent producers be penal- 
ized for working with HBO or NBC? Or, do they 
have an unfair leg up on the festival competition? 
Are they still "independent" when the television 
company has final cut or copyright control? What 
about when the director and TV funder see eye-to- 
eye? These issues will only get more complicated 
as independents ride the wave of their success into 
deals with television programmers and major film 
production companies. 



At most major festivals, short films find them- 
selves at the bottom of the hierarchy — ignored by 
press, left out of the prize-winners' circle, and 
generally forgotten when the ubiquitous question 
"What have you seen that's good?" comes up. At 
Sundance, shorts are again on the bottom rung, but 
this festival offers more hidden benefits than 
usual. 

"I wasn't aware of how significant Sundance 
was until I got the reaction from the industry," 
says Lisa Krueger. whose half -hour narrative about 
a young woman forced to sell her horse, Best 
Offer, was included in one of the five shorts 
programs. "Management agents called me and 
asked for cassettes, based on this and IFFM." 
Krueger. previously a script supervisor on such 
films as Mystery Train, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, and 
King of New York, came to Sundance with her 
sights set on future feature projects. "I'm working 
on a feature-length screenplay now," she says, "so 
while I ' m here V d like to make contacts with those 
people I'll eventually want to approach with it." 

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shorts programs are regularly attended by dis- 
tributors, development personnel, and, increas- 
ingly, foreign buyers. Some filmmakers have sold 
scripts and gotten agents as a result. "Most all of 
the [feature film] directors here made shorts about 
five years ago," says Sundance program associate 
John Cooper, who selects 40 to 50 shorts out of 
roughly 400 submissions and works seen at IFFM, 
film schools, and media centers. 

Sundance's first program of shorts, presented 
four years ago, comprised Chanticleer projects — 
i.e., first-time-director calling card films. Nowa- 
days the filmmakers are a mother crew, at various 
points in their careers. This year they included 
actor Mathew Modine, who lost his luggage en 
route to Park City but managed to hand-deliver his 
off-beat and well-received When I Was a Boy. 
There were established animators like Candy 
Kugel and Vincent Caferelli {We Love It), plus 
musician-animator Cory McAbee, whose wild 
Billy Nayer — drawn with housepaints on over 
2,000 sheets of 8x11 paper — featured a truly 
memorable party animal. After completing festi- 
val entry Fugitive Love, Tamara Jenkins is now 
about to direct a $180,000 half-hour program for 
the TV Families anthology series, funded by the 
Independent Television Service (ITVS). And there 
were many others, like Jane Weinstock (The Clean 
Up) and Rub Kuhns {King's Day Out), who are 
poised to move on to feature productions. 

Part of Sundance's attraction is its personal 
touch. "Cooper treats short film directors like 
we're all Martin Scorsese," enthuses Joey Forsyte, 
producer/DP of the short Deaf Heaven. A day 
after she and director Steve Levitt submitted Deaf 
Heaven for consideration, they got calls from two 
distributors, at Cooper's recommendation. Coo- 
per confirms his behind-the-scenes assistance. "I 
also help establish contacts with the Sundance 
Labs. I have a 'push list' that I pass along to the 
Screenwriting Workshop," he notes. 

This kind of contact between festival program- 
mers and the Sundance Institute workshops is one 
of the unsung benefits of the festival. Forsyte, who 
produced Dean Pari sot's Tom Goes to the Bar in 
1985, recalls "After the festival. Dean was brought 
back for the screenwriting workshop. They be- 
lieved in him so much. He didn't even have a 
project then! It was an act of faith." For Forsyte, 
the whole Sundance enterprise — from the festival 
to the Screenwriters Lab, the Filmmakers Lab, 
and the Producers Conference held throughout 
the year — provides an important apprenticeship 
that is lacking in both Hollywood and the film 
schools. "It encourages a controlled, step-by-step 
process," she says. "The film industry would be in 
real trouble without Sundance." 

Patricia Thomson is editor of The. Independent. 



CALLING AN ADVERTISER? 

Let them know you found them in 
The Independent. 



40 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



ELLEN LEVY 



W. H. Auden called M.F.K. Fisher "the best prose 
writer in America." Certainly she gave the lan- 
guage new flavor, legitimizing the art of eating in 




Author M.F.K. Fisher is profiled in a new 
documentary by Kathleen Wheater. 

Courtesy filmmaker 

a land marred by McDonald's. M.F.K. Fisher: 
Writer with a Bite (28 min., video) is an intimate 
and provocative portrait of the artist as an 
octagenarian, exploring the creative process 
through conversations with Fisher just before her 
death in 1992. Incorporating Fisher's juicy anec- 
dotes about sex, aging, compulsiveness, and raison 
d'etre, this nontraditional documentary by 
Kathleen Wheater employs experimental narra- 
tive and layered voice-over to explore the creative 
process and the nature of artistic nourishment. 



M.F.K. Fisher was a longtime contributor to the 
New Yorker, author of 1 6 books of nonfiction, and 
an authoritative translation of the French gastro- 
nomical volume Physiology of Taste. M.F.K. 
Fisher: Writer with a Bite, 329 Bryant St., Ste 3C, 
San Francisco, CA 94107; (415) 442-0443; fax: 
(415)777-4551. 

Pop-mythologist Joseph 
Campbell once opined that 
"a temple is a landscape of 
the soul." Missouri-based 
video artist Van McElwee's 
Fragments of India (7:45) 
adapts the adage to the realm 
of video, translating the for- 
mal elements of Indian 
temples into moving pic- 
tures. McElwee combines 
the sounds of India with the 
images of Hindu, Muslim, 
and Jain architecture to cre- 
ate a moving picture that 
marries video and architec- 
ture. Funding was provided 
in part by the Government 
of India in cooperation with 
the Archaeological Survey 
of India, New York State's 
Experimental TV Center, 
and the Southwest Alternate 
Media Project. Fragments of 
India, Van McElwee, 7117 
Nashville, St. Louis, MO 
63117-2336; (314) 781- 
1091. 

With a pistol-gripped 
Bolex movie camera slung 
in a leather holster on his 
hip, reclusive Vietnam vet Cinema Sid is out to 
shoot an epic film. Haunted by ghosts of Holly- 
wood and Southeast Asia, Sid wanders the New 
Jersey Meadowlands in a converted bus, filming 
a hazily conceived epic based on La Strada. On 
the move and on the fringe, Sid meets art student, 
go-go dancer Cassandra and falls in love in C razy 
Street (16mm). currently in production by Jersey 
filmmaker Bruce Paynter. To cut production costs, 
Paynter is developing and workprinting the film 
on his own, with equipment bought second-hand 
and set up in a 1500 square foot factory space in 
New Jersey. "Who can afford to pay the lab 
costs?" says Paynter, "I'm going to do it myself." 
Crazy Street, Bruce Paynter, 40 Marion Rd, 



Montclair, NJ 07043; (201) 340-1545. 

What is it like to be a woman with a beard? To 
call oneself a feminist while actively performing 
in a carnival sideshow? Tami Gold's experimen- 
tal documentary Juggling Gender: Politics, Sex 
and Identity (27 min., video) explores the fluid- 
ity of gender identity through the person of New 
York City performance artist Jennifer Miller. 
Miller, the "Bearded Woman" at a Coney Island 
side show, is also an alternative circus director 
and feminist. Through interviews, verite footage, 
and performance. Juggling Gender challenges 
viewers to reconsider the terms "feminism" and 
"woman," and the relationship between notions of 
identity, sexual orientation, and politics. Juggling 
Gender: Tami Gold, 13 Bellaire Dr, Montclaire, 
NJ 07042; (201) 509-0234. 

As a slave, Annie Mae Hunt spent her days 
"catchin' babies," pickin cotton in East Texas, 
and working in other people's homes; as a free 
citizen she labored for close on two decades as a 
seamstress, an Avon lady, and an activist for black 
voter registration. Guts, Gumption, and Go- 
Ahead, a documentary drama by Dallasites 
Cynthia Salzman Mondell and Allen Mondell, 
recreates the oral history of this extraordinary 
woman using archival footage, music, and Hunt's 
own words. Based on the book / Am Annie Mae, 
a collection of personal interviews with Hunt, 
edited by Ruthe Winegarten, Guts, Gumption, 
and Go-Ahead is out of production. Through 
dramatic recreation, letters, archival photographs, 
and period music, the Mondells' Dreams of Equal- 
ity (22 min., 16mm) dramatizes the history of the 
first Women's Rights Convention held in Seneca 
Falls, New York, in 1848. A contemporary ex- 
change between young people on sex roles rounds 
out the program. Guts, Gumption, and Go-Ahead 
and Dreams of Equality, Media Projects, 5215 
Homer St., Dallas, TX 75206; (214) 826-3863; 
(214) 826-3919, fax. 

You are struck first by their enormity: six-foot- 
tall human heads, hundred-foot skeletons of tou- 
cans and blue whales. Since 1963, the Bread & 
Puppet Theater company has been parading their 
giant puppets in celebration and in protest down 
the city streets of Europe and the U.S. Vermont- 
based independent Jeff Farber brings the politcially 
engaged troupe to the screen with his recently 
completed, feature-length documentary, Brother 
Bread, Sister Puppet (80 min., 16mm). Farber's 
film captures the troupe's signature event, the 
annual, day-long "Domestic Resurrection Cir- 



MAY 1993 



THE INDEPENDENT 41 



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Punked out prodigal 
daughter Ramona in Mona's 
Pets, by John Allen 

Courtesy filmmaker 



cus," including its stunning Pageant, a vast alle- 
gorical drama presented at dusk by a cast of over 
1 00 volunteers on a 20-acre stage of rolling fields 
and hills. Brother Bread, Sister Puppet: Cheap 
Cinematography Prods, Box 889, Montpelier, VT 
05601; (802)229-1145. 

A middle-class family's complacency is shat- 
tered when punked-out, prodigal daughter Ramona 
returns home, bringing with her an army of cock- 
roaches. Mona's Pets (32 min. ,16mm), by At- 
lanta filmmaker John Allen, explores the dysfunc- 
tional dynamics as Ramona's family is forced out 
of hiding only to find that theirclosest bond is with 
their daughter's carapaced companions. Acad- 
emy Award-nominated filmmaker Mark Mori has 
optioned the rights to Mona's Pets and joined with 
Allen to develop the short into a feature in late 
1993. Allen is currently in postproduction with 
Mr. McAlister's Cigarette Holder (20 min., 
35mm), based on a short story by noted Southern 
novelist Mark Steadman. Mona's Pets and Mr. 
McAllister's Cigarette Holder: John D. Allen 
Films, 66 Golf Circle, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309; 
(404) 874-3369. 

Twenty years after serving with the 7th Ma- 
rines in the Que Son Mountains of Vietnam, 
Wisconsin-based videomaker Dennis Darmek 
returned to Southeast Asia. His nontraditional 
documentary, Crossing the DMZ (28 min., video), 
combines layered images and sounds to recount 
Darmek's journey by bus, boat, cycle, and plane 
from Saigon to the mountains near China. Shot on 
Hi8 and mastered on one-inch, the lyric video 
probes the emotional terrain of memory as it 
travels a landscape that haunts our collective past. 
Crossing the DMZ: Dennis Darmek, 2831 N. 
Hackett Ave, Milwaukee, WI 5321 1; (414) 963- 
9697. 

Set in a fictitious town replete with 2,000 miles 
of bowling lanes, Spare Me is the darkly comic 
story of a volatile young bowler's search for his 
father. Directed by Matthew Harrison, the feature 
film, which is currently in production, invents a 
genre all its own: bowl noir. Spare Me: Matthew 
Harrison, 160 E. 3rd St, #4G, New York, NY 
10009; (212) 673-3335; fax: 254-8240. 



Premiered against the wall of an East Village 
building, Jim Fealy's Mosaic Man (26 min., 
16mm) profiles New York City street artist Jim 
Power and his work: mosaics on lampposts and 
walls throughout the East Village. Working gue- 
rilla-style, without city permits or approval, Power 
is an underground artworld celebrity. The artist 
comments on his work and subjects ranging from 
squatting to gentrification to recycling, providing 
a portrait of an urban pioneer. Mosaic Man : Lucky 
Dog Pictures, 1 88 Suffolk St, #3B, New York, NY 
10002; (212) 228-0215. 

One of the most significant events in American 
labor history, the Homestead Steel Strike of 1 892, 
had profound repercussions for workers through- 
out the United States. Filmmakers Steffi Domike 
and Nicole Fauteux employ journalistic accounts, 
court and other records, participants' autobio- 
graphical accounts, poetry, song, and fiction to 
evoke the the strike and its century-old legacy in 
their documentary The River Ran Red. The 
River Ran Red: Nicole Fauteux, (2 1 2) 42 1 -4789. 

Vermont Is for Lovers (90 min., 16mm), by 
Vermont-based filmmaker John O'Brien, is a 
picturesque and whimsical story about a New 
York City couple's nontraditional wedding and 
premarital angst amidst the sheep and shearing of 
pastoral Vermont. Contrasting the Reagan eight- 
ies with remnants of rural America, Vermont Is for 
Lovers strives for a new cinematic form: the Folk 
Film. Vermont Is for Lovers: Bellwether Films, 
Landgoes Farm, Tunbridge, VT 05077; (807) 
889-3474. 

In 1 985, Jimmy Carter and a group of volunteer 
carpenters arrived on New York City's Lower 
East Side to help reconstruct a burned-out tene- 
ment. The Rebuilding of Mascot Flats docu- 
ments the arduous process of converting the aban- 
doned 85-year-old tenement into 19 low-income 
cooperatively owned and managed apartments. 
The experiences of the inexperienced homestead- 
ers provide a moving story and a model for afford- 
able housing. The Rebuilding of Mascot Flats: 
Josephine Dean Productions, 205 West End Ave, 
New York, NY 10023; (212) 874-2120. 



42 THE INDEPENDENT 



MAY 1993 



Domestic 

ASPEN FILMFEST, Sept. 29-Oct 3. CO. Fest "celebrates 
today's diverse & exciting ind. films," incl. latest in 
feature, foreign, doc & short films. Entries judged on 
concept & execution, originality & creativity, style & 
technical excellence. All features & shorts (under 10 
min.) completed after June 1, 1992 eligible. Fest in 15th 
yr. Formats: 70mm. 35mm, 16mm. Entry fee: S25. 
Deadline: July 10. Contact: Susanne Hines/Mary 
Mullane. Aspen Filmfest, Independent Films, Box 89 1 0. 
Aspen, CO 81612; tel. & fax: (303) 925-6882. 

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FILM 
FESTIVAL, Oct. 8-17. IL. Sponsored by Facets Multi- 
media & founded in 1984, competitive fest searches for 
outstanding entertainment films, videos & TV programs 
for children. Entries screened by 2 ind. juries; one 
composed of children, other composed of filmmakers, 
critics, educators & parents. Both look for "content 
which speaks to culturally diverse audiences & is 
humanistic, non-exploitative & non-violent." Awards: 
children's jury best live action/animation; best feature- 
length live action/animation: best shorts (30-60 min.. 
10-30 min.. under 10 min.); live action/animation, Liv 
Ullman Peace Prize, Festival Award for Intercultural 
Understanding. Audience Award to most popular film. 
Prod, must be completed since 1991. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4"; preview on cassette. Deadline: June 1. 
Contact: Chicago International Children's Film Festival, 
1517 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614; (312) 281- 
9075; fax: (312) 929-5437. 

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 

October. H. Now in 29th yr, fest is one of largest US int'l 
competitive fests, programming films & videos produced 
in preceding 2 yrs. Cats: feature (Midwest premieres); 
doc (arts/humanities, social/political, history /biography); 
short subject (drama, humor/satire, films for children, 
experimental); student (comedy, drama, experimental, 
nonfiction. animation); ind. video (short, educational, 
animation, feature, experimental, music video); ind. 
video doc (arts/humanities, social/political, history/ 
biography); mixed film/video (short, doc. educational, 
animation, feature, experimental); educational (per- 
forming/visual arts, natural sciences/math, social 
sciences, humanities, recreation/sports); animation; TV 
prod; TV commercial. Awards: Gold Hugo (Grand 
Prix): Silver Hugo; Gold & Silver Plaques; Certificates 
of Merit; Getz World Peace Award. Each yr features 
over 125 films from several countries, tributes, retros & 
special programs. Entry fees: S25-225. Deadline: June 
30. Contact: Chicago Int ' 1 Film Festival. 4 1 5 N. Dearborn 
St, Chicago, IL 606 1 0-9990; (312) 644-3400; fax: 0784. 

HA WAH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Nov. 28- 
Dec. 1 1 , HI. Founded 1 2 yrs ago, HIFF, under permanent 
theme "When Strangers Meet," aims to promote cross- 
cultural understanding among peoples of Asia, N. 
America & Pacific through presentation of free films, 
discussion, workshops, symposia, special awards & 
media events. Has grown into one of premiere cultural 
attractions in Hawaii w/ int'l impact. Entries of any 
length in all genres, incl. experimental, short, doc, 
feature accepted; interested in US & world premieres. In 
1992, fest presented 125 films from 20 countries on 47 
screens across 6 Hawaiian Islands. Special programs for 
1 993 incl. New Asian Film Discoveries, Environmental 
Film/Video Series, First Films, Children/Family Film 
Series, Indigenous Voices in Film, Made in Hawaii 
(made in or about Hawaii). Entry fee: $25. Deadline: 
July 30. Contact: Film Selection Coordinator, Hawaii 




This month's festivals have been 
compiled by Kathryn Bowser, director 
of the FIVF Festival Bureau. Listings do 
not constitute an endorsement. Since 
some details change faster than we 
do, we recommend that you contact 
the festival for further information 
before sending prints or tapes. In order 
to improve our reliability and make 
this column more beneficial to 
independents, we encourage all film- 
and videomakers to contact FIVF 
Festival Bureau with their personal 
festival experiences, positive and 
negative. 

Int'l Film Festival, 1777 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 
96848; (808) 944-7635; fax: (808) 949-5578. 

INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM MARKET, Sept. 27- 
Oct. 4, NY. Now in its 15th yr, this is only market 
devoted to new, emerging American ind. film. Held at 
Angelika Film Center, market is attended by over 2,500 
filmmakers, distributors. TV & home video buyers, 
agents, development execs & fest programs from US & 
abroad. Submissions accepted in cats of feature films 
(over 75 min.). short films (under 60 min.). works-in- 
progress (edited scenes, trailer, intended for feature 
length), script (copyrighted, for feature length film). 
Separate membership & entry fees apply; all applicants 
must be current IFP members. Deadline: July 30 (discount 
deadline: July 9). Contact: Independent Feature Project, 
132 W.21st St, 6th fl. New York, NY 10011; (212) 243- 
7777; fax: 3882. 

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL, October, CA. Now 
celebrating 1 6th edition, noncompetitive fest showcases 
new US ind. work & int'l films. Lastyr 100 films shown 
in 60 separate programs, many W. Coast premieres 
avail, for distribution. Features, shorts & docs accepted; 
program also incl. 3-day Videofest. Audiences over 
22.000. Fest interested in works demonstrating com- 
mitment to & dealing w/ social issues. Entry fee: $12. 
Deadline: June 30. Contact: Mark Fishkin/Zoe Elton, 
Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Creek Plaza, 38 Miller 
Ave, Ste 6, Mill Valley, CA 94941 ; (415) 383-6256; fax: 
8606. 

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL, October 1-17, NY. As 
major int'l fest & uniquely NY film event, 31-yr-old 
prestigious noncompetitive fest programs approx 25 
film programs from around world, primarily narrative 
features but also docs & experimental films of all 
lengths. Shorts programmed w/ features. Audiences 
usually sell out in advance & incl. major NY film critics 
& distributors. Press conferences after each screening 
w/directors, producers & actors. Must be NY premieres. 
Presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center & held at 
Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Fest also pro- 
gramming 2nd edition of week-long video sidebar at 



Film Society 's Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center. 
All lengths considered; no film-to-video transfers. No 
entry fee; film- & videomakers responsible for r/t shipping 
fees for preview. Deadline: early July. Appls avail, in 
May; when requesting appl, specify for film or video 
sidebar. Contact: New York Film Festival, 70 Lincoln 
Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-6595; (212) 875- 
5610; fax: 5636. 

ROBERT FLAHERTY FILM SEMINAR, Aug. 7- 1 3, NY. 
Now in 39th yr, held at Wells College in Aurora, NY, 
seminar provides opportunity for artists, scholars, 
curators, students & critics from US & abroad to view & 
discuss diverse forms of ind. film & video. 1993's 
program curated by Margarita de la Vega Hurtado/Chon 
Noriega (comprehensive look at Latino & Latin American 
media arts. incl. New Latin American cinema, gender 
issues, sexuality & culture, exile cinema; relation between 
Latin American & Latino media arts); John Columbus 
(experimental/conceptual to nontraditional doc films/ 
videos which represent ind. visions & diverse artistic 
social & cultural issues presented in Black Maria 
Festival); Louis Massiah (new aesthetic approaches 
among film- & videomakers from African diaspora & 
reflected in experimental approaches to biographical 
doc, new narratives, new production collaborations). 
Contact: Sally Berger. exec, director. International Film 
Seminars, 305 W. 21 St, New York, NY 10011; (212) 
727-7262; fax: (212)691-9565. 

VIDEO TUSCULUM, November, TN. Designed "to 
encourage & recognize creative & artistic use of home 
video equipment by ind. videographers, middle school, 
high school & college students. Pieces are judged for 
production quality, creativity & continuity." Last yr's 
winning entries featured at this yr's Sinking Creek 
Festival in June. Fest hopes to get larger response from 
middle school & high school students. Contact: Wess 
duBrisk, Video Tusculum, Tusculum College, Tusculum 
Station, Greeneville, TN 37743-9997; (615) 636-7300. 



Foreign 



FESTIVAL DEI POPOLI INTERNATIONAL REVIEW 
OF SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY FILM, November, Italy. 
As one of longest-running all-doc film fests in world, 
Festival dei Popoli will be in its 33rd yr in 1 993 . Program 
incl. Competition Section & sections on Film & Art, 
Film & History, Cinema on Cinema, New Trends, 
Ethno-Anthropology, Current Events & Screen of 
Sounds. Fest accepts docs completed after Sept. 1, 1992, 
which cover social, political & anthropological issues. 
Awards: Best Doc (lire 20,000,000); Best Research (lire 
1 0,000,000); Best Ethnographic Doc (Gian Paoli award); 
Best Doc nominated by Student Jury (Silver Award 
from Ministry of Educatio). Award money paid to 
directors after awarded film/video formally deposited in 
fest archive. Fest also retains some free use nontheatrical 
rights for college & univ. exhibition. Entrants pay r/t 
shipping for preselection; for selected prints, entrants 
pay shipping to Italy; fest covers customs expenses & 
return shipping costs. No entry fee. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4"; preview on 1/2". Contact: Mario Simondi, 
Festival dei Popoli, Via dei Castellani 8, 501 22 Florence, 
Italy; tel: 39 55 294 353; fax: 39 55 213 698. 

QUEBEC INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SCIEN- 
TIFIC FILMS, Sept. 23-30, Canada. Int'l competition 
for best recent scientific films & videos. Offers public 
screenings in Quebec City & Montreal, special evening 
lectures, programming for young people, fest on tour. 8 
award cats: scientific film & video; French language TV 



MAY 1993 



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Now's your chance to catch up on some important reading. Purchase back 
issues of The Independent, featuring informative articles on subjects ranging 
from foreign sales and PBS to on-location shoots and the cable industry. Some 
issues that merit a first (or second) look include: 

June 91 - Artist' Inroads into the Cable Industry (HBO, the 

Discovery Channel, MTV, Bravo, and The Learning Channel) 

July 92 - On Location: Working with Film Commissions 

November 92 - The Other Queer Cinema: What Women Want, 
plus PBS 's Jennifer Lawson Talks Shop 

December 92 - Foreign Sales: A Special Report 

Back issues are $3.50 each (add $1 .50 shipping & handling for first issue, $1 for every 
issue thereafter). Various back issues are available from the archives, so call if you have 
a specific one in mind: (212) 473-3400. 



Award-winning Cameraman 
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Experience in narrative, documentary and training videos (reel includes Hepburn, Rolling 
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programs; the environment, science/nature; institutional/ 
corporate film/video, Quebec film or video, best film of 
scientific research, best film for young people. 1992 fest 
received 180 films from 19 countries, of which 60 were 
selected for program (25 in competition). Entries must 
have been produced after Jan. 1, 1991. No entry fee. 
Films avail, only in English may be French-subtitled at 
fest expense. Formats: 16mm, 3/4". Deadline: May 30. 
Contact: Herve Fischer, Festival du Film Scientifique, 
15. de la Commune ouest, Montreal (Quebec), Canada 
H2Y 2C6; (514) 849-1612; fax: (514) 982-0064. 

SAN SEBASTIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 

Sept. 16-25, Spain, Now in 41st yr, fest will incl. 
competition ( 1 8 features); Zabaltegi (open zone) which 
shows 30-40 films; a complementary section showing 
films from other fests, first films & films made by 
members of jury; 3 retros (William Wellman, Boris 
Bamet & homage to filmmakers & stars who would be 
100 in 1993); films for children. Cash prize: $350,000 
for first & second film ("operas primas"). Narrative, 
experimental or experimental/doc accepted. Films must 
have been completed since Oct. 1, 1992 (Aug. 1992 for 
Zabaltegi), not theatrically released in Spain, broadcast 
on Spanish TV or shown in competition at other European 
fests for competition or any film competing for the 
"operas primas" award. Selected films shown w/ Spanish 
subtitles which are responsibility of director. Directors 
of selected films & actors in some cases invited; fest 
covers r/t expenses & 5 nights at hotel. Format: 35mm, 
16mm; preview on 1/2". Deadline: June 1. For 
information about fest & how to apply, contact: Berenice 
Reynaud, California Institute of the Arts, School of Film 
& Video, 24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355; 
fax: (805) 253-7824. 

TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Sept. 24- 
Oct. 3, Japan. Main sections of 6th edition of competitive 
fest are Int'l Competition & Young Cinema Competition. 
Estab. filmmakers eligible for awards in int ' 1 competition: 
Grand Prix, Special Jury Prize, Best Director, Best Act- 
ress/Actor, Best Artistic Contribution, Best Screenplay. 
Young Cinema Competition selects winners from entries 
by young or upcoming directors (35 yrs or younger w/no 
more than 3 features commercially released or first work 
of a director, no age limitation). Awards: Tokyo Gold 
Prize (¥20 million); Tokyo Silver Prize (¥10 million), 
Tokyo Bronze Prize (¥5 million). Program also incl. 
special invitational screenings, Best of Asian Films, 
Nippon Cinema Now & new film market. Formats: 
35mm; preview on cassette. Deadline: June 1 5. Contact: 
Tokyo International Film Festival, Asano No. 3 Bldg, 2- 
4-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104, Japan; tel: 8 1 3 3563 
6305; fax: 81 3 3563-6310. 



Looking to buy or rent equipment? 

Looking for freelance employment? 

Looking for a distributor? 

LOOK NO FURTHER 

The Independent 
CLASSIFIEDS 

The best, most cost-efficient way to 
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ONE AD - $25 
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For more information, contact Michele 
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MAY 1993 



CLASSIFIED 



Buy ■ Rent ■ Sell 

DUE TO MEDICAL EMERGENCY, must sell Nagra IS 
w/ mics, carrying case & shipping case. Excellent one 
owner gear. Call: (212) 645-4865. 

3/4" SP SONY EDIT SYSTEM (9800/9850) for rent, plus 
Panasonic WJ-MX50, professional digital EFX 
generator. Tascam 6-channel mixer w/speakers. Two 
monitors, delivered & installed: Sl,200/mo. Or edit in 
SoHo studio, 24-hour access, own key: S400/wk. 
Instruction avail. Call (212) 274-0102. Leave message. 

HI-8 SONY 701 CAMCORDERS. Bogen tripods. Com- 
modore stereo color monitor, portable lights, wired & 
wireless mics for sale; all high-end consumer equip, 
some slightly used, all at good prices. (212) 982-8967. 

UPRIGHT 16MM MOVIOLA, new Eiki projector, B&H 
projectors, rewind table, rewinds, viewer. Location 
services avail, (lights, 16mm camera, sound, generator, 
motorhome) & postprod services (sound transfers & 
mix, editing, optical printing). (201) 465-1964. 

MOVE UP to component Betacam. Betacam BVW 10, 
$5k, BVW 15DT $7k, BVW 40 S9k, Grass Valley 50 
component switcher S2k, BVE 800 A&B editor S2k, 
Videotek sync generator VSG-201 Slk. Sony BVM 
1310 component broadcast monitor $2k. All the above 
as pkg 525,000. (203) 637-0445. 

IKEGAMI 730AP w/ Fuji 7X7 & Schnieder lens. $5k. 
Sachtler head 20/2 w/ legs S4k. Fora TBC/transcoder 
FA3 10 (takes SVHS & Hi8) $2500. Microtime 3 10TBC 
$3k, Tektronic 1710 B WFM $1,500. Magni monitor, 
component waveform/vecscope Slk. (203) 637-0445. 

CLOSING 16MM STUDIO. Great Bargains: 2 Bolexs 
H16 w/ all acces. including motor S2k. Beaulieu R16 
complete w/ 200 ft. mag. Slk. Stellavox SP 7 w/ all 
acces. $1500. Nagra SLO resolver $850. Magnasync 
1 6mm insert recorder for transfer from Nagra or Stellavox 
Slk. Splicers, syncronizers. rewinds & more (203) 637- 
0445. 

BETACAM PACKAGE in great condition. HL-95B 
camera w/BVV-lA deck, light kit, batteries, tripod & 
monitor for unbeatable price of $250 per day!! Call 
Chris Caris (212) 505-1911. Convenient Union Sq. 
location!! 

STEADICAM for film & video. Special rates for 
independents. Call Sergei Franklin. (212) 228-4254. 

FILM & TV JOBS. Current positions. All areas/levels. 6 
issues $35 (3 mos.), 1 2 issues $60 (6 mos.), 22 issues $95 
(1 yr.). Send check/m.o. to: Entertainment Employment 
Journal, Dept. 200, 7095 Hollywood Blvd, #815. 
Hollywood, CA 90028. (213) 969-8500. 

SONY EVO-9700 HI-8 EDITING SYSTEM. Mint con- 
dition, hardly used. $4,000. Call JB at (212) 452-3890 
(days), (212) 865-9778 (evenings). 

NEW EQUIPMENT at fair price. Sennheiser, LOWEL- 
LIGHT, AKG, Fostex Systems, Elmo, A-T, dbx. Bogen, 
Sony TCD5-ProII. "Buy Mail Order ONLY." J 
Carpenter, Box 1321, Meadville, PA 16335. 

16 MM CAMERAS w/17-69 zoom for sale: brand new, 
Russian made. Springwound. Reflex. 8-48 fps & single 
shot. Light meter w/ case, close-up lens & many 
accessories. ($199 + $12 shipping) Reel Trading Co., 
149 Main St, East Hartford, CT, 06 1 1 8; (203) 568-2484. 
Limited Supply. 



Each entry in the Classifieds column 
has a 250-character limit & costs $25 
per issue. Ads exceeding this length 
will be edited. Payment must be made 
at the time of submission. Anyone 
wishing to run a classified more than 
once must pay for each insertion & 
indicate the number of insertions on 
the submitted copy. Each classified 
must be typed, double-spaced & 
worded exactly as it should appear. 
Deadlines are the 8th of each month, 
two months prior to the cover date 
(e.g. May 7 for the July issue). Make 
check or money order — no cash, 
please— payable to FIVF, 625 
Broadway, 9th fl, New York, NY 
10012. 



OXBERRY 35M.M & 16MM RENTALS in Rochester, NY 
animation studio. Low commercial rates & special rates 
for ind. film prods. Fred Armstrong or Skip Battaglia 
(716)244-6550. 

ELEMACK SPYDER DOLLY. Complete rebuild in '89. 
Dual hard wheels & track wheels. Must Sell! Call collect 
(402)731-2308. 

Distribution 

SEX! VIOLENCE! BRIBERY! You don't have to resort to 
these to bring attention to your project. You know it's 
good; we can help tell the people who need to know. 
MTN Assoc., Advertising/Marketing/PR, 1400 Arbor- 
view Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103; (313) 761-3278. 

HARVEST SATELLITE NETWORK requests Afrocentric 
programming for licensing to cable & satellite networks 
worldwide. Send sample 1/2" tape to: 21 Bedford St, 
Wyandanch, NY 1 1798; Attn: Mr. Clyde Davis. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational & health care 
markets. Fanlight Productions distributes films/videos 
in areas of health, sociology, psychology, etc. Karen 
McMillen, Fanlight Prods, 47 Halifax St, Boston, MA 
02130; (800) 937-41 13. 

VARDZD DIRECTIONS, distributor of child abuse & 
health tapes, seeks socially important films/videos. Long 
& successful track record due to selectivity & attention 
to programs we choose. Contact: Joyce, 69 Elm St, 
Camden, ME 04843; (800) 888-5236. 

SEEKING NEW WORKS for educational mkts. 
Educational Productions distributes videos on early 
childhood education, special ed. & parent ed. Linda 
Freedman, Educational Prods, 7412 SW Beaverton 
Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, OR 97225. (800) 950-4949. 

ADDS, HEALING & HEALTHCARE ISSUES. Send us 
new work to preview. Aquarius Prods distributes 



selective, award-winning videos. We work w/producers 
to help meet your needs. Leslie Kussmann, Aquarius 
Prods, 35 Main St, Wayland, MA 01778; (508) 651- 
2963. 

ALTERNATIVE FILMWORKS, experimental film 
distrib. seeks ind. film/video works, any length. No 
mainstream films. Send videotape copy to: alternative 
filmworks, Dept. IC, 259 Oakwood Ave, State College, 
PA 16803-1698; (814) 867-1528; fax: 9488. 

CHIP TAYLOR COMMUNICATIONS, the best 
distributor, is always seeking the best productions. Send 
yours on VHS & we '11 notify you within 7 days. Contact: 
CTC, 15 Spollett Dr, Derry, NH 03038. 

NEW DAY FILMS, a coop, of ind. media producers w/ 
common vision, seeks new members w/ challenging 
social issue documentaries for distrib. to nontheatrical 
US markets. Also consider distributing exceptional films 
& videos by producers who are non-members. Contact: 
New Day Films 1 2 1 W. 27th St, Ste 902, New York, NY 
10001; (212) 645-8548. 

Freelancers 

BOOMMUSIC, the music production company from 
prizewinning Dutch composer/producer. Bob van der 
Boom is new in NY. Known for his tasteful quality 
music & expertise. Has facilities. Call for big & small 
projects. (212)663-0052. 

MOOD SWINGS, real life, nuance & passion... (these are 
a few of my favorite things). Composer w/nat'l network 
credits seeks film/video projects. Own digital facility 
for acoustical/electronic scores. Steve Raskin (212) 
219-1620. 

DP/STEADICAM ARTIST w/ 16SR, 35BL, superspeed 
lenses, 3-chip camera & BVU 150 deck sound equip., 
lighting van. Passport. Certified Scuba diver, French, a 
little Spanish. Features, commercials, music videos. 
Call (212) 929-7728. 

COMPOSER w/ films at Sundance, Berlin Int'l Film 
Fest, New Directors New Films. Experience includes 
feature, doc, short films, as well as commercials, PSAs. 
State-of-the-art MIDI studio. Call Brian Tibbs for demo 
reel at (718) 349-6453. 

THE SCREENPLAY DOCTOR & MOVIE MECHANIC. 

Professional story editors/postproduction specialists will 
analyze your screenplay or treatment & evaluate your 
film-in-progress. Major studio & ind. background. 
Reasonable rates. Call (212) 219-9224. 

SONY BVW-200A w/ or w/out award-winning camera- 
man. One-piece Beta SP unit is smallest, w/best resolution 
& sensitivity avail. Vinten tripod, DP light kit, monitor, 
mics. Priced according to project. Call Scott Sinkler. 
(212) 721-3668. 

PROFESSIONAL VIDEO COVERS. Design, layout & 
typesetting by artist. Reasonable rates. Portfolio avail. 
Anne, (212)873-5857. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY, frequent contributor 
to "Legal Brief column in The Independent & other 
magazines, offers legal services to film & video 
community on projects from development thru 
distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact Robert L. Seigel, 
Esq. (212) 545-9085. 

AWARD- WINNING CAMERAMAN w/ 16mm Aaton, 
Betacam SP & Steadicam, looking for challenging 
projects. Partial client list: ABC Sports, Atlantic Records, 



MAY 1993 



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1-800-892-2121 

Freedom of expression and the arts have 
reached a crucial crossroads. After years of 
damaging attacks, anew Administration and 
Congress give us a chance to strengthen and 
renew support for free, vital, and diverse ar- 
tistic expression. But this will only happen if 
we speak out. 

Let Congress and the White House know that 
you support the arts and believe in freedom 
of expression by calling the Support the 
ArtsHotline. When you do, four pre- written 
Western Union letters will be sent in your 
name. S6.95 will be billed to your home for the cost 
of the letters. 

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IBM, Pitney Bowes, Wilderness Society. Complete 
crews avail. Reasonable rates. Mike Carmine (718) 224- 
3355. 

BETACAM SP: Award-winning cameraman w/ BVW 
507 field pkg will work w/in your budget. Equip, pkg. 
incl. Vinten tripod, DP kit. wide-angle lens, Neuman 
KMR8 1 , Lavs & Toyota 4-Runner. B VP7/BVW 35 pkg 
& full postprod services. Hal (201) 662-7526. 

EXPERIENCED COMPOSER avail, to write/orchestrate 
music for film, video, doc. Versatile, insightful, works 
w/in deadline. Has own MIDI studio. NY & vicinity. 
Demo tape & resume avail. Kahn-EUis (215) 725-38 16. 

BETACAM SP LOCATION PKG w/ technician, $400/ 
day. Incl. lights, mics & Sachler Tripod. Same but non- 
SP Beta, 3/4" or Hi8, $300. Window dubs, Betacam, 
Hi8. VHS & 3/4" also avail. Electronic Visions, (212) 
691-0375. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY avail, for dramatic 16 
or 35mm prods of any length. Credits incl. Metropolitan. 
Call to see my reel. John Thomas (201) 783-7360. 

BETACAM PKG (reg. or SP) w/ tripod, lights, mics, 
shotgun & van avail. Award-winning cameraman & 
crew avail. Fast & reliable. Broadcast quality. Call Eric 
(718)389-7104. 

CAMERAMAN w/ equip. Credits incl. 4 features (35 & 
16mm), news & doc (CBS, BBC, PBS), ads, industrials 
& music vids. 16mm & Betacam pkgs w/ lights, mics, 
crew & van. Strong visual sense. Personable & reasonable 
rates. Call for demo. Eric (718) 389-7104. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 10 feature credits 
including Straight Out of Brooklyn, Walls & Bridges. 
Self-owned-35/1 6 camera systems w/ video assist, light/ 
electric/grip pkg, sync sound recording system. Lowest 
Rates! Call John Rosnell (212) 366-5030. 

LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT DP on your next science or 
arts project? I'll help realize your vision w/ enthusiasm 
& intelligence & research the subject to deliver quality 
images. DP/Camera operator. Film & video. Dallas- 
based. Will travel. Chuck Pratt (214) 704-4021. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER from Eastern Europe interested 
in shooting narrative projects. Call Lukasz Jogalla (212) 
477-6786. 

ADDESIGN/ADMIN.ASST. Typing w/laser prints. Ideal 
for letters, mail list, invoices & proposals. Design for 
ads, letterhead & business cards. Fully equipped Mac 
design/admin, office. Quick. Reasonable. Call (212) 
439-7264; fax: 662-5513. 

VIDEO PRODUCTION PACKAGES. Experienced 
videographer w/ flexible production pkgs that incl. 
shooting &/orediting.Multi-formatcapabilities, window 
dubs & computer logging. (212) 260-7748. 

VIDEO EDITING & TV GRAPHICS. Hi8, 3/4", Betacam. 
Budget bum-ins, 8mm time coding, edit decks, etc. Let 
us design your title sequence & promo. You will profit 
from our 15+ yrs in broadcasting, ind. prods & hard 
work. Call Matt (212) 675-4188. 

CINEMATOCRAPHER looking for interesting projects. 
Owner of an Arri 16SR & other camera & lighting 
equipment. Call Ralph, (718) 284-0223. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, talent & 
experience. Credits incl. features, commercials, 
industrials, docs, shorts & music videos. Owner of 



Aaton 16mm/super 16 & Betacam pkgs. Call for my 
reel. Bob, (212)255-8868. 



Preproduction 



BUDO, a low-budget feature, is forming its crew. Shooting 
is for three weeks in July & August. Deferred payment 
contracts. All positions avail. Send resume to BUDO 
Prods., 245 8th Ave, Ste 199, New York, NY 1001 1. 

FEATURE SCRIPTS & treatments sought by ind. NY 
prod, company for development. Fresh & offbeat 
welcome; not looking for Die Hards or Pretty Womans. 
Merry Dinosaur Productions, c/o Jim Rider, 727 Fulton 
St, Brooklyn. NY 11217. 

STORY & SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT: For more powerful 
& meaningful stories, call mythology, creativity & 
script